Matching Items (19)

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A Call to Action: Embodied Thinking and Human-Computer Interaction Design

Description

This chapter is not a guide to embodied thinking, but rather a critical call to action. It highlights the deep history of embodied practice within the fields of dance and

This chapter is not a guide to embodied thinking, but rather a critical call to action. It highlights the deep history of embodied practice within the fields of dance and somatics, and outlines the value of embodied thinking within human-computer interaction (HCI) design and, more specifically, wearable technology (WT) design. What this chapter does not do is provide a guide or framework for embodied practice. As a practitioner and scholar grounded in the fields of dance and somatics, I argue that a guide to embodiment cannot be written in a book. To fully understand embodied thinking, one must act, move, and do. Terms such as embodiment and embodied thinking are often discussed and analyzed in writing; but if the purpose is to learn how to engage in embodied thinking, then the answers will not come from a text. The answers come from movement-based exploration, active trial-and-error, and improvisation practices crafted to cultivate physical attunement to one's own body. To this end, my "call to action" is for the reader to move beyond a text-based understanding of embodiment to active engagement in embodied methodologies. Only then, I argue, can one understand how to apply embodied thinking to a design process.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

Presence, A dance film exploring physical, mental, and emotional presence through movement across the country.

Description

As an artist, I set out to creatively answer three important questions that were discovered in a variety of ways over the course of my academic career. They all had

As an artist, I set out to creatively answer three important questions that were discovered in a variety of ways over the course of my academic career. They all had one thing in common, the awareness and wonder around how impactful presence is. But what is presence? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined presence as, “The state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.” And, “A person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen. (Presence) After a tangible experience with loss, grief, disappointment, and extenuating life circumstances for many cast members involved in this seven-month movement research project, the internal battle for physical, mental, and emotional presence began to be a daily pursuit. The originally produced work, Presence-The Walk, takes a look into the unpopular practice of being still in an ever-moving society, as well as what the process of healing can look like for an individual. Videographer and MFA candidate Lawrence Fung was a large collaborator on the final product of this work. After having to adapt several different versions of the final product due to cast changes, opportunities for public performance, and the COVID-19 pandemic, dancer, mover, and artist Victoria Ward shares her experience and research exploring the constant pursuit of presence and what it looked like to present professional work given an even shorter timeline. Interdisciplinary collaboration with photographers, artists, and spoken word was also a key aspect of this work alongside the research completed by her cast of seven dancers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Chemoreception in Octopus bimaculoides

Description

Chemoreception is an important method for an octopus to sense and react to its surroundings. However, the density of chemoreceptors within different areas of the skin of the octopus arm

Chemoreception is an important method for an octopus to sense and react to its surroundings. However, the density of chemoreceptors within different areas of the skin of the octopus arm is poorly documented. In order to assess the relative sensitivity of various regions and the degree to which chemoreception is locally controlled, octopus arms were amputated and exposed to acetic acid, a noxious chemical stimulus that has previously been shown to elicit movement responses in amputated arms (Hague et al., 2013). To test this, 11 wild-caught Octopus bimaculoides (6 females, 5 males) were obtained. Acetic acid vapor was introduced in the distal oral, distal aboral, proximal oral, and proximal aboral regions of amputated arms. The frequency of the occurrence of movement was first analyzed. For those trials in which movement occurred, the latency (delay between the stimulus and the onset of movement) and the duration of movement were analyzed. The distal aboral and distal oral regions were both more likely to move than either the proximal oral or proximal aboral regions (p < 0.0001), and when they did move, were more likely to move for longer periods of time (p < 0.05). In addition, the proximal oral region was more likely to exhibit a delay in the onset of movement compared to the distal oral or distal aboral regions (p < 0.0001). These findings provide evidence that the distal arm is most sensitive to noxious chemical stimuli. However, there were no significant differences between the distal oral and distal aboral regions, or between the proximal oral and proximal aboral regions. This suggests that there may not be a significant difference in the density of chemoreceptors in the aboral versus oral regions of the arm, contrary to claims in the literature. The other independent variables analyzed, including sex, body mass, arm length, anterior versus posterior arm identity, and left versus right arm identity, did not have a significant effect on any of the three dependent variables analyzed. Further analysis of the relative density of chemoreceptors in different regions of the octopus arm is merited.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

Storytelling Through Movement: A Connection Between Dance and Ocean Pollution

Description

In my undergraduate honors thesis, I strive to convey my idea that dance is more than just movement, it’s one of the many artistic tools used to express emotions; which

In my undergraduate honors thesis, I strive to convey my idea that dance is more than just movement, it’s one of the many artistic tools used to express emotions; which therefore has the power to storytell without words. It is my hope to create a captivating form of art that you not only view, but can interact and interpret.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Physical Activity Bursts: Impact of Exercise in Elementary School

Description

Research indicates that social changes have resulted in children exercising much less than in the past. This is problematic since physical activity throughout the elementary school day is imperative, because

Research indicates that social changes have resulted in children exercising much less than in the past. This is problematic since physical activity throughout the elementary school day is imperative, because exercise improves academic focus, boosts mood, and leads to a healthier lifestyle. Exercising is pivotal for all students but even more so for students in the Special Education classroom who may rely on physical activity as a way of regulating their emotions. Depending on the school, students may only exercise at recess and during their Physical Education electives. Lack of physical activity can be detrimental to the academic and physical success of a student.
This thesis explores the impact of physical activity--what I have chosen to call “moments of movement” -- inside the classroom throughout the elementary school day. Journal-based observations were made by a student teacher placed in a special education 4th-6th grade writing and reading resource classroom from August-December of 2018 and a fourth grade general education classroom from January-May of 2019. All observations were made at Adams Elementary School, a Title 1 school, in the Mesa, Arizona school district. At this K-6 grade school, many students live with the challenges of poverty, neglect, unstable family dynamics, and trauma. Because the teachers work tirelessly to cultivate a sense of home for the students, there is a strong emphasis on non-traditional teaching methods, including the AVID program and the Kagan, and Tribes strategies.
Ms. Norris (the special education teacher) and Ms. Foss (the fourth grade teacher) both have strong backgrounds in fitness and naturally incorporate physical activity in their classrooms, which is not something typically found at elementary schools. In this paper, physical activity strategies in classrooms of Ms. Norris and Ms. Foss are analyzed, as well as the benefits of implementing these strategies. The impact of these “moments of movement” on the whole class and individual students is discussed, and suggestions are made to help educators incorporate “moments of movement” into their own classrooms. Educators can use the strategies present at Adams Elementary School as a model for incorporating exercise in their own classrooms.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Constructivism in the acting classroom: a comprehensive approach to teaching practical aesthetics, voice, and movement

Description

This dissertation uses constructivist pedagogy to teach acting via Practical Aesthetics, a system of actor training created in the mid/&ndash1980s; by David Mamet and his college acting students. Primarily taught

This dissertation uses constructivist pedagogy to teach acting via Practical Aesthetics, a system of actor training created in the mid/&ndash1980s; by David Mamet and his college acting students. Primarily taught at the Atlantic Theatre Acting School in New York City, Practical Aesthetics has been the focus of little academic research. The same lack of research regarding constructivist pedagogy exists in academic theatre scholarship. The author takes a step toward rectifying this situation. Using an action research methodology, based on approximately thirteen years of teaching experience, the author suggests that Practical Aesthetics and his accompanying voice and movement exercises can be effective in training novice actors. The author melds theory and practice into the educational approach called Praxis to create specific detailed lesson plans which can be used to implement Practical Aesthetics. These lessons constitute primary research on this topic. Compatible voice and movement exercises are also included to provide a comprehensive semester length digest. The first chapter is an introduction, the second outlines Practical Aesthetics, the third focuses on constructivism, the fourth discusses teaching acting using Constructivist Learning Design, the fifth provides narrative lessons that can be used in the classroom, and the closure provides a review as well as suggestions for further research. An intriguing point made in the closure is a call for studies that might determine Practical Aesthetics' applicability and usability in other fields such as law, business, politics, public speaking, and even non-profit work. Although the primary audience for this dissertation is secondary school and college acting instructors, any scholar studying acting theory or constructivist pedagogy may find value in its contents.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Movement Synchronization in Capoeira

Description

Previous literature on synchronization to music using finger tapping tasks in a laboratory or otherwise controlled setting has led to some invaluable, albeit dated, theories about time and synchronization. In

Previous literature on synchronization to music using finger tapping tasks in a laboratory or otherwise controlled setting has led to some invaluable, albeit dated, theories about time and synchronization. In an effort to modernize some of the approaches utilized in research on music synchronization, this study applies established theories of music entrainment to a fieldwork study. Specifically, this study focuses on the extent to which participants of Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art disguised as a dance, synchronize to external timekeepers by analyzing icti in several types of movements and comparing them to musical rhythmic beats.

Sports psychology studies have shown that the presence of music can have involuntary effects on exercise. For example, walkers and runners will spontaneously synchronize gait to auditory signals. However, runners do not normally focus on choreology, acrobatics, and environmental stimuli while exercising. This study contributes to this field of research by adding observations and analyzing degrees of synchronization in a martial art, which may be more cognitively demanding than running.

In Capoeira, participants are still expected to attend to music. The degree of synchronization that occurs in a Capoeira class can then be compared with synchronization in martial arts that have music solely as a background component. These future studies would be analyzing music entrainment in real-life environments with physical activities that are more cognitively complex than running. Moreover, these future studies can help to confirm or challenge current theories of attention and music entrainment and synchronization.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Exploring the Utilization of Startle as a Therapy Tool in Individuals with Stroke

Description

Stroke is a debilitating disorder and 75% of individuals with stroke (iwS) have upper extremity deficits. IwS are prescribed therapies to enhance upper-extremity mobility, but current most effective therapies have

Stroke is a debilitating disorder and 75% of individuals with stroke (iwS) have upper extremity deficits. IwS are prescribed therapies to enhance upper-extremity mobility, but current most effective therapies have minimum requirements that the individuals with severe impairment do not meet. Thus, there is a need to enhance the therapies. Recent studies have shown that StartReact -the involuntary release of a planned movement, triggered by a startling stimulus (e.g., loud sound)- elicits faster and larger muscle activation in iwS compared to voluntary-initiated movement. However, StartReact has been only cursorily studied to date and there are some gaps in the StartReact knowledge. Previous studies have only evaluated StartReact on single-jointed movements in iwS, ignoring more functional tasks. IwS usually have abnormal flexor activity during extension tasks and abnormal muscle synergy especially during multi-jointed tasks; therefore, it is unknown 1) if more complex multi-jointed reach movements are susceptible to StartReact, and 2) if StartReact multi-jointed movements will be enhanced in the same way as single-jointed movements in iwS. In addition, previous studies showed that individuals with severe stroke, especially those with higher spasticity, experienced higher abnormal flexor muscle activation during StartReact trials. However, there is no study evaluating the impact of this elevated abnormal flexor activity on movement, muscle activation and muscle synergy alterations during voluntary-initiated movements after exposure to StartReact.
This dissertation evaluates StartReact and the voluntary trials before and after exposure to StartReact during a point-to-point multi-jointed reach task to three different targets covering a large workspace. The results show that multi-jointed reach tasks are susceptible to StartReact in iwS and the distance, muscle and movement onset speed, and muscle activations percentages and amplitude increase during StartReact trials. In addition, the distance, accuracy, muscle and movement onsets speeds, and muscle synergy similarity indices to the norm synergies increase during the voluntary-initiated trials after exposure to StartReact. Overall, this dissertation shows that exposure to StartReact did not impair voluntary-initiated movement and muscle synergy, but even improved them. Therefore, this study suggests that StartReact is safe for more investigations in training studies and therapy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The design and evaluation of a kinect-based postural symmetry assessment and training system

Description

The increased risk of falling and the worse ability to perform other daily physical activities in the elderly cause concern about monitoring and correcting basic everyday movement. In this thesis,

The increased risk of falling and the worse ability to perform other daily physical activities in the elderly cause concern about monitoring and correcting basic everyday movement. In this thesis, a Kinect-based system was designed to assess one of the most important factors in balance control of human body when doing Sit-to-Stand (STS) movement: the postural symmetry in mediolateral direction. A symmetry score, calculated by the data obtained from a Kinect RGB-D camera, was proposed to reflect the mediolateral postural symmetry degree and was used to drive a real-time audio feedback designed in MAX/MSP to help users adjust themselves to perform their movement in a more symmetrical way during STS. The symmetry score was verified by calculating the Spearman correlation coefficient with the data obtained from Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor and got an average value at 0.732. Five healthy adults, four males and one female, with normal balance abilities and with no musculoskeletal disorders, were selected to participate in the experiment and the results showed that the low-cost Kinect-based system has the potential to train users to perform a more symmetrical movement in mediolateral direction during STS movement.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Walking to Magdalena: place and person in Tohono O'odham songs, sticks, and stories

Description

This dissertation examines songs, sticks, and stories pertaining to Tohono O'odham pilgrimages to Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, the home of their patron saint, Saint Francis. In the sense that Tohono O'odham

This dissertation examines songs, sticks, and stories pertaining to Tohono O'odham pilgrimages to Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, the home of their patron saint, Saint Francis. In the sense that Tohono O'odham travel to Magdalena in order to sustain their vital and long-standing relationship with their saint, these journeys may be understood as a Christian pilgrimages. However, insofar as one understands this indigenous practice as a Christian pilgrimage, it must also be noted that Tohono O'odham have made Christianity their own. The findings show that Tohono O'odham have embedded, or emplaced, Christianity within their ancestral landscapes, and that they have done so in a variety of ways through songs, staffs, and stories. This work emphasizes connections between O'odham processes of producing places and persons. Songs associated with the journey to Magdalena, which contain both geographical and historical knowledge, foreground the significance of place and the movements of various persons at the places mentioned within them. The staffs of O'odham walkers, like other sticks, similarly contain both geographical and historical knowledge, evoking memories of past journeys in the present and the presence of Magdalena. Staffs are also spoken of and treated as persons, or at least as an extension of O'odham walkers. O'odham stories of good and bad walkers illustrate contested O'odham ideologies of socially sanctioned movements. Finally, this dissertation concludes by demonstrating some of the ways in which O'odham senses of their own history diverge from academic models of Tohono O'odham history and the history of Christianity in the Americas.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013