• Project Title: Dance Styles' Varying Effects on Cognitive Skills with Respect to the Affinity for Musical Genres

  • BASIS Advisor: Ms. McLean

  • Internship Location: Dance Identity Studio

  • Onsite Mentor: Dr. Vafa Bayat

The brain consumes approximately 30% of the body’s energy, making it essential for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients via blood to billions of neurons. Previous studies have proven that exercise not only increases blood flow to the brain, but also promotes adult neurogenesis, the production of neurons in the adult brain. Because dance is a form of art and exercise, the benefits of dance are widespread, but not completely understood. The goal of my project, conducted at Dance Identity Studio, is to compare cognitive skill enhancement between experienced and inexperienced dancers. In doing so, dancers from Dance Identity and BASIS Independent Silicon Valley will be tasked with games that test skills such as spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, and language through Lumosity, a brain training platform. Additionally, my project will use EEG scans to observe brain wave patterns in these experimental groups. Due to the fact that exercise is linked to enhanced cognition, I expect there will be a positive correlation between the time spent dancing and the improvement of particular cognitive skills that are used in dance, such as pattern recognition. Since dance has long been associated with recreational activities, the objective of this project is to also point to the benefits of this art form, and its implications in preventing widespread diseases such as dementia.