Morten Kringelbach is professor of Neuroscience at Aarhus University, Denmark, and senior research fellow at The Queen's College, University of Oxford. He received in 2013 an ERC Consolidator Grant for a research on the plasticity of parental caregiving: characterizing the brain mechanisms underlying normal and disrupted development of parenting. His research currently focuses on understanding pleasure in the human brain. It is an important issue since it may offer us novel and more effective ways to treat anhedonia, the lack of pleasure, which is a major component of affective disorders.
The overall aim of the research is to investigate the close links between music and dance in the brain and body using the tools of neuroscience and anthropology. Emerging research from both disciplines has started to explore the links but much remains to be explored. From an anthropological perspective, cross-cultural research has shown that in many societies there are no general terms for music and dance, rather people use words for specific performances involving dance and music. In yet other societies, the same word is used for music-making, singing and dancing. From a neuroscientific perspective, listening to music has been shown to engage the action systems of the brain, suggesting that music is preparing the body to dance. We propose to investigate these links further by organising a workshop with leading scholars to explore and bring together interdisciplinary perspectives on music and dance in the brain and body. Further, we propose to carry out anthropological fieldwork in Paris and to write up the results of neuroimaging research on groove, a highly pleasurable form of music setting the body in motion.