I work primarily within the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and aesthetics. My focus is on embodied cognition and interactive processes. Given these foci, I often investigate both the cognitive and aesthetic aspects of dance. I have published on the various cognitive and developmental benefits of dance education, dance therapy, and improvisation. In general, I am interested in the various cognitive achievements that fall under the label improvisation.
My dissertation develops a full enactivist account of vernacular improvisational dance. I create a unified framework of dance cognition that can accommodate novices and experts alike. While much of the aesthetics, cognitive science, and philosophy literature on dance has focused on stage dance and art dance, I focus primarily on vernacular dance, dance at parties, jams, competitions, at festivals, and in the mirror with a blow dryer.
My current research, looks at group role formation (leaders, followers, naysayers, lurkers) within creative group work. I investigate how movement and space impacts the formation of various cognitive roles and how movement and space impacts the creative process. In this research I have (with wonderful aid from my undergrad research assistants) developed a motion capture technique that tracks group relationships from a top-down perspective.
Furthermore, I am investigating the emergence of cognitive structures within large crowds - for example, how do crowds of pedestratians demonstrate advanced problem solving skills without a centralized leader or full access to information.