Exciting projects outside the Suitcase II

It is time for the second exciting project outside the Suitcase.

We have heard it before: Communication is key! One of the things the Suitcase is very preoccupied with at the moment is how best to communicate what we do and what we learn. We have our reports, our shorter blog posts, the small videos etc., but we are still debating how best to reach practitioners, decision makers and researchers all at the same time.

Today’s exciting project is an example of a very inspiring and talented communication of how art experiences affect us and how our brains react when exposed to art.

The Washington Post released in September 2017 an interactive article that uses beautiful video footage and music from the ballet Swan Lake to illustrate one important point: “When we experience art, we feel connected to something larger”.

The article explains (through words and moving images) how we are neurologically wired for social connection and that “social connection is a key function of our brains […] Our brains like to share emotions with others. This is just one reason that seeing a live performance — a concert, play, opera, etc. — is a neural rush.

The article further explains how watching physical movement affect us:

The brain is highly stimulated by motion, body language, facial expression, gestures — all the motor perceptions that could affect survival and our success in social settings […] But we’re not only visually pulled to the movements of others. We feel them, in some small way, in our bodies. When we watch a dancer spring across the stage, we may experience a little internal hippity-hop, too.

Find more arguments for why “the logic of art is a neural turn-on” in the article here. In terms of communication, the remarkable detail of this article is that the readers experience in their brains and bodies exactly what is described in the text as they read and watch it. We learn that different movements affect us in certain ways. And as we learn this, we watch an example of a movement, and to some degree, we have the described reaction. We are cognitively learning and physically experiencing the message all at the same time – Brilliant!

Read (and experience) the article here.

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