The focus of this past week was collecting data and collaborating with the Alzheimer’s Association.
In order to make data collection more efficient, I used five devices with Lumosity on them. Before deciding on this number, I learned the hard way that anything less than five was simply not enough to collect the necessary data. As a reminder to readers, data collection involves scores from four games testing attention, flexibility, speed, and memory before and after dance classes. Additionally, a questionnaire is required to be filled out by participants of the study, so when data is analyzed trends can account for demographics.
For most of the dancers, my hypothesis of cognitive skills being enhanced by dance was upheld. There are a few deviations, but what’s interesting to note is the improvement of particular skills with each dance style. For example, Bollywood dancers are typically scoring higher in the flexibility category compared with jazz dancers who score higher in attention tests. More reading is needed to be done for me to better understand why these distinctions are present.
Since the participants of this study are people, I am encountering challenges that I have previously not had to deal with when conducting research. In order to collect sufficient data, the requirement of this research involves participants arriving to class at least ten minutes before class to play the games on Lumosity. Most dancers show up to engage in the study, but even if a few dancers don’t come, I have to either choose to extend the study for particular subjects or ask them to leave the study.
Through my involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association and my continued interest in the disease, I am now working with the organization to raise awareness about the brain and am promoting the usage of unconventional forms of therapy, including dance. On March 22, I will be speaking about Alzheimer’s and this research with Congressman Ro Khanna, in hopes of advancing initiatives to find a cure for this devastating disease.
Lastly, both my mentors have provided feedback on my initial drafts of the introduction of my final paper, and I expect to complete this section soon. For this upcoming week, I plan on collaborating with BISV dance teams.
Until next week,