This paper raises fundamental questions about the claims of art historian David Freedberg and neuroscientist Vittorio Gallese in their article "Motion, Emotion and Empathy in Esthetic Experience." It does so from several perspectives, all of them rooted in the dynamic realities of movement. It shows on the basis of neuroscientific research how connectivity and pruning are of unmistakable import in the interneuronal dynamic patternings in the human brain from birth onward. In effect, it shows that mirror neurons are contingent on (...) morphology and corporeal-kinetic tactile-kinesthetic experience. Accordingly, it poses and answers the overlooked but seminally important question of how mirror neurons come to be. The original neuromuscular research of Parma neuroscientists and the findings of Marc Jeannerod concerning kinesthesia support the answer that the "underpinnings" of visual art appreciation are themselves underpinned. An abbreviated phenomenological analysis of movement and its implications regarding the fact that the making of all art is quintessentially contingent on movement, hence a dynamic enterprise, further bolster the given answer as does a brief review of an empirical phenomenological analysis of the natural dynamic congruency of emotions and movement. In the end, the paper shows that movement and life are of a piece in the creation and appreciation of art as in everyday life. (shrink)
This paper discusses possible correspondences between neuroscientific findings and phenomenologically informed methodologies in the investigation of kinesthetic empathy in watching dance. Interest in phenomenology has recently increased in cognitive science (Gallagher and Zahavi 2008 ) and dance scholars have recently contributed important new insights into the use of phenomenology in dance studies (e.g. Legrand and Ravn (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8(3):389–408, 2009 ); Parviainen (Dance Research Journal 34(1):11–26, 2002 ); Rothfield (Topoi 24:43–53, 2005 )). In vision research, coherent (...) neural mechanisms for perceptual phenomena were uncovered, thus supporting correlation of phenomenology and neurophysiology Spillmann (Vision Research 49(12):1507–1521, 2009 ). Correspondingly, correlating subjects’ neurophysiological data with qualitative responses has been proposed as a means to research the human brain in the study of consciousness (Gallagher and Zahavi 2008 ), with similar issues in clinical psychology Mishara (Current Opinion in Psychiatry 20(6):559–569, 2007 ) and biology Kosslyn et al. (American Psychologist 57:341–351, 2002 ). Yet the relationship between neuroscience and qualitative research informed by phenomenology remains problematic. How qualitative research normally handles subjective experiences is difficult to reconcile with standard statistical analysis of objective data. Recent technological developments in cognitive neuroscience have inspired a number of researchers to use more naturalistic stimuli, outside the laboratory environment, such as dance, thereby perhaps helping to open up the cognitive sciences to more phenomenologically informed approaches. A question central to our research, addressed here, is how the phenomenal experiences of a dance audience member, as accessed by qualitative research methods, can be related to underlying neurophysiological events. We outline below some methodological challenges encountered in relating audiences’ first-person accounts of watching live dance performance to neurophysiological evidence of their experiences. (shrink)
An ontogenetically-informed epistemology is necessary to understandings of apprenticeship learning. The methodology required in this enterprise is a constructive phenomenology, a phenomenology that takes into account the fact that as infants, we were apprentices of our own bodies: we all learned our bodies and learned to move ourselves. The major focus of this essay is on infant social relationships that develop on the ground of our original corporeal-kinetic apprenticeship. It shows how joint attention, imitation, and turn-taking - all richly examined (...) areas in infant social development - are the foundation of apprenticeship learning in later adult life. The relationship between each infant capacity and later apprenticeship learning is demonstrated in examples from present-day research, specifically, research in the areas of medicine, sport, music, and tailoring, and research carried out by philosophers on apprenticeship learning. (shrink)
Aspects of Northoff's argument lend themselves to the ongoing investigation of localizing the self in the brain. Recent data from the fields of neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience provide evidence that the right hemisphere is a candidate for localization of self. The data on catatonia further that proposition and add insight into the continuing investigation of self in the brain across sensory and motor domains.
Stephane Savanah (Savanah Biol Philos 28:657–673, 2013) provides a critique of theories of self-recognition that largely mirrors my own critique (though without recognizing it) that I began publishing two decades ago. In addition, he both misconstrues my kinesthetic-visual matching model of mirror self-recognition (MSR) in multiple ways (though he appears to agree with the actual model), and misconstrues the evidence in the scientific literature on MSR. I describe points of agreement in our thinking about self-recognition, and criticize and rectify (...) inaccuracies. (shrink)
This article begins with a summary phenomenological analysis of movement in conjunction with the question of “quality” in movement. It then specifies the particular kind of memory involved in a dancer’s memorization of a dance. On the basis of the phenomenological analysis and specification of memory, it proceeds to a clarification of meaning in dance. Taking its clue from the preceding sections, the concluding section of the article sets forth reasons why present-day cognitive science is unable to provide insights into (...) dance, notably because being largely tethered to happenings in the brain, it lacks foundational grounding in experience, specifically, the actual experience of movement, which is to say in kinesthesia. (shrink)
As its title indicates, this article shows animation to be the fundamental, essential, and properly descriptive concept to understandings of animate life. A critical and constructive path is taken toward an illumination of these threefold dimensions of animation. The article is critical in its attention to a central linguistic formulation in cognitive neuroscience, namely, enaction ; it is constructive in setting forth an analysis of affectivity as exemplar of a staple of animate life, elucidating its biological and existential foundations in (...) animation. (shrink)
in Jeremy McKenna (ed), At the Boundaries of Cricket, to be published in 2007 as a special issue of the journal Sport in Society and as a book in the series Sport in the Global Society (Taylor and Francis).
A phenomenology of action is outlined, analyzing the structure of volition, kinesthesis, and perception in the experience of action, and, finally, the experience of embodiment in action. The intentionality of action is contrasted with that of thought and perception in regard to the role of the body, and the relations between an action, the experience of acting, and the context of the action are specified.