South-east Asia is filled with many unique forms of music and dance accompanied by a rich history of ethnographic documentation. The author takes Tari Piring, aniconic dance of the Minangkabau people from West Sumatera, as an example todemonstrate how these diverse art forms can provide doorways into how theprocesses of the embodied brain are intertwined with society, culture and the environment. Such research, as the author suggests, demands greater inter-disciplinary collaboration with the potential to more deeply understand thereiterative causality between brain and culture. The author discusses theory andmethods from ethnomusicology, dance anthropology and choreomusicology. Theseresearch fields can complement contemporary neuroscience a great deal in theelucidation of socially-embedded, culturally-orchestrated and environmentally-situated neurological processes. The choreomusical relationships found in self-accompanied and musician-accompanied Tari Piring are evidence to howperceptual processes are influenced by cultural and social practices. Such culturalpractices offer brain scientists a rare opportunity to perform context-drivenexperiments that elucidate key operations of the human brain. While much brainresearch targets brain processes in isolation of socio-cultural activity, the potentialof the proposed research is to understand the brain in context as well as the contextof that brain. What better context for this research than the fascinating array ofcultural art forms found in South-east Asia?
|Translated title of the contribution||Brain, culture and environment: the neuroanthropologist and the self-accompanied dancer|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
- Tari Piring