Psychology Student Dances Her PhD For International Competition


Bangor University Psychology PhD student Kohinoor Darda has entered an international competition which allows her to explain what her Phd is about.

Kohinoor said: “In the last couple of years, a lot of people have asked me what my PhD is all about. It’s always a challenge explaining my PhD to those outside the discipline of social/cognitive neuroscience. But I found the perfect way to avoid jargon and tell people what I work on when I came across the “Dance your PhD” contest jointly organised by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Science Magazine.”

The contest challenges scientists and researchers to explain their PhD thesis through the medium of interpretive dance.

Kohinoor, who is a fan of both science and dance, said:

“I thought this was the perfect platform to bring both my passions together. I made a video explaining my PhD “Neural Mechanisms of Imitation Control” through the medium of Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance style.”

Bharatnatyam is a dance style characterised by an in-depth vocabulary of sign language based on body and hand gestures, and facial expressions, and Kohinoor felt that it therefore lended itself beautifully to explaining her PhD thesis.

Briefly describing her neuroscience PhD, she said:

“In day to day social interactions, we all tend to imitate each other, sometimes even without our conscious awareness. This phenomenon is called automatic imitation. My PhD explores the complex neural architecture that underlies the control of our tendency to automatically imitate other people.”

An international student from Pune, India, Kohinoor chose to study at Bangor University because of the quality of research that takes place in the School of Psychology and the friendly collaborative environment it provides.

Now in its 11th year, the “Dance your PhD” competition is now closed for submissions. Finalists will be chosen by previous winners with a panel of expert judges selecting the winner. The winner will be announced at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington DC on 16 February.



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