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LT, Ben Pimlott Building
28 Feb 2024, 4pm-5pm 

Whitehead Lecture: Guido Orgs, The Neurocognition of Liveness

Part of the Spring 2024 series of Whitehead Lectures

Abstract: What makes live experiences special? Liveness is a central feature of music concerts, dance performances and theatre plays, but it is also relevant to political rallies, sporting events and meeting online. In this talk, I will discuss some of the theoretical and practical challenges for a neuroscience of liveness. I propose that live experiences can be conceptualized and measured as a form of sustained entrainment between the minds, brains, and bodies of at least two people in a defined here and now. We will discuss several studies in music and dance performance that focus on different components of liveness, and using behavioural, psychophysiological and neural measures.

By their very nature, live experiences are unique, context-dependent and social experiences. Our research on liveness thus exemplifies many of the limitations associated with traditional, lab-based cognitive neuroscience, and illustrates an alternative interdisciplinary, real-world neuroscience approach. We combine theories from theatre and performance studies, mobile neuroimaging methods, psychological experimentation and artistic research as complementary routes to understanding liveness.

Biography: Guido Orgs is Associate Professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London. He studied Psychology and Performing Dance at the University of Düsseldorf and the Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany. After completion of his PhD in cognitive neuroscience, he performed with German dance company NEUER TANZ/VA WÖLFL between 2008 and 2011.

Since 2009 Guido has lived and worked in London, where he conducts research on the cognitive neuroscience of performing and perceiving movement, and the neuroaesthetics of dance and live performance combining artistic and scientific research methodologies. From 2015 until 2022, he was the founding Director of the MSc in Psychology of the Arts, Neuroaesthetics and Creativity at Goldsmiths, University of London. He currently leads the NEUROLIVE project, a 5-year EU-funded interdisciplinary research project that aims to understand what makes live experiences special.

Free event, open to all.

More information and booking here.

Image from How Shall We Begin Again? performed at Siobhan Davies Studios, November 2022  

A European Research Council funded project