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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 organized 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 isa dance style characterized 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 “Neural Mechanisms of Imitation Control.”

Briefly describing her neuroscience PhD Kohinoor said:

“In day to day social interactions, we all tend to imitate each other, sometimes even without our conscious awareness. This phenomenon is called as 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 in 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 and collaborative environment it provides. She thinks that the University’s location, providing easy access to the mountains and the sea is definitely an added bonus.

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.