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ADRI Events to Focus on Nervous System’s Role in Performance and Human Behavior

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Dr. Stephen Porges

The Arts and Design Research Incubator (ADRI) will explore the nervous system’s role in performance and human behavior in a series of events throughout the spring 2016 semester, starting with a conversation with leading stress researcher Dr. Stephen Porges at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in ADRI, 16 Borland Building. Dr. Porges, a neurophysiologist and author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation, will discuss the neurophysiology of how our perceptions and actions shift in stressful situations. The conversation will be facilitated by Andrew Belser, ADRI director and professor of theatre. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Biobehavioral Health Colloquium Series.

The neurophysiology series continues on Monday, Feb. 15, with a lunchtime “Dialogue” (noon–1 p.m.) featuring Belser and neurologist and ADRI Lead Investigator in Applied Neuroscience Joseph Julian, M.D. Belser and Julian are collaborating on an upcoming book titled The Performer’s Field Guide to Applied Neuroscience, to be published by Routledge, intended to extend and update performance-training methods by migrating neuroscience research into the contemporary performance landscape.

On Monday, Feb. 29, Serap Erincin, postdoctoral scholar in Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, will lead another lunchtime “Dialogue,” on “Neurohumanities in Theatre and Performance: Digital Media, Cognitive Science, New Technologies, and Embodied Practice.”

The final event of the series, at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, will again feature Belser and Julian, leading an open conversation on “Neuroscience and Auditions: What Happens in a Performer’s Brain/Body Before and During an Audition.”

All events are held in ADRI, 16 Borland Building, and are free and open to the public. The “Dialogues” are held from noon to 1 p.m. and attendees are welcome to bring their lunch. ADRI, part of the College of Arts and Architecture Research Office, supports high-impact, interdisciplinary arts and design research projects, typically in their early stages, and showcases these projects through a range of programming. For more information, visit