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Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal

Abstract

It may be said: the brain that dances is changed by it. Although all types of human movement are complex, dance is possibly the most complex form of movement that humans engage in. The brain allows for this unique function by coordinating an intricate set of interconnected neurological structures. When activated through dance, these structures have the ability to change and become more efficient in their functions; referred to as neuroplasticity. In this way, dance has the potential to be used therapeutically to aid those suffering from various neurological disorders affecting similar areas of the brain, including Parkinson’s disease: a degenerative disorder compromising the functions of the motor system. Engaging the damaged motor system through dance may aid in re-establishing its connections and movement related functions impaired by Parkinson’s. This paper discusses the neuroplastic properties of dance training and rehearsal, and the potential it holds in rehabilitation of select damage to the motor system. It would be invaluable to explore how this form of rehabilitation may be applied to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.


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