Brain and Art pp 121-138 | Cite as

A Neuroscience of Dance: Potential for Therapeusis in Neurology

  • Gerry LeismanEmail author
  • Vered Aviv


Dance possesses favorable effects on the brain and its ability to form connections as well as in its ability to stimulate substances that support neuroplasticity used to treat individuals with many forms of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions by influencing the integratory function of movement and cognition. Elements of both discrete and rhythmic movements are present in dance, itself a gestural system. Activation patterns are largely consistent with subcortical system activation involved in the timing and coordination of discontinuous movements, and specific cortical systems are activated to support the control of the continuous movements. We conclude that the essential functions fundamental to the dance include the control of equilibrium, posture, and sway which are sensitive to training effects, and that, therefore, dance training has the potential to stabilize and align dancers’ performance via these functions. The roles of individual sensory modalities in multimodal integration, especially relative influences of vision and somatosensation, deserve further study. We conclude that there is potential therapeutic benefit for those with developmental delays, developmental coordination disorders, individuals post-stroke, and those suffering from a plethora of neurodegenerative conditions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.National Institute for Brain and Rehabilitation SciencesNazarethIsrael
  3. 3.Faculty ‘Manuel Fajardo’University of the Medical SciencesHavanaCuba
  4. 4.The Jerusalem Academy of Music and DanceJerusalemIsrael

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