American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 84-105

Emotion, Embodiment, and Mirror Neurons in Dance/Movement Therapy: A Connection Across Disciplines

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The current study questions whether our emotions change depending on whether we watch a person model postures or, rather, embody the postures ourselves. The posture photographs from the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy Test of Posture (DANVA2-POS) were used as the stimuli by which to rate levels of agreement among participants. Forty-one individuals were randomly allocated to one of two groups (observing or embodying) and invited to rate, in open-ended written responses, twenty-four postures by describing the emotion or feeling associated with each posture. The responses were then coded as happy, sad, angry, fearful, shameful, or surprised. A comparison of means demonstrated that there were no differences in response among all emotions except anger. A significantly higher anger response was shown for the embodying condition than for the observing condition.


Embodiment Emotions Mirror neurons Posture Dance/movement therapy