Julia Christensen

I studied for my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Sophia Antipolis in Nice, France, and at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, where I also did my Master and PhD in Human Cognition, Evolution and Neuroscience (2014). In 2014 I joined the Action and Body lab of Professor Patrick Haggard at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience of the University College London as a Postdoctoral Research Associate (2014-2015). As a Newton International Research Fellow (British Academy fellowship, 2015-2017) I worked in the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU) and the Autism Research Group (ARG) at the Psychology Department of City, University of London, before joining the B.I.A.S. project of Professor Manos Tsakiris at the Warburg Institute London, generously funded by the NOMIS foundation (2017-).

Research Interests
My general research interests are Psychology and Neuroscience of Dance, Emotion, Evolution of dance, Movement expertise, The Arts, Evolution of the arts, Cross-cultural studies of dance, Neuroaesthetics, Neuroethics, Philosophy of Mind, Moral Psychology, Evolution of Morality, Autism.

My PhD thesis with Professor Camilo Cela-Conde (University of the Balearic Islands; Spain) and Dr. Marcos Nadal (University of Vienna) was focused on the affective mechanisms involved in watching dance (title ”Dance moves: Affective responses to expressive body movement”). I have a strong interest in dance myself as I trained as a professional dancer before becoming a scientist.

My current work with the B.I.A.S. project focusses on biological and cultural mechanisms that facilitate authenticity of emotional expression in dance. I am interested in the biological functions of the arts in general, and in emotional expertise brought about by dance training, in particular.

I have also worked in the field of Neuroscience of morality under the supervision of Professor Antoni Gomila (UIB), and as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience with Professor Patrick Haggard (UCL), I lead a series of studies investigating how agents’ sense of agency over their actions is modulated by the emotional context in which an action occurs. I use behavioural, and psychophysiological testing methods.

v.l.ainley@.rhul.ac.uk

(+44) 01784 276551

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Publications

Emotion science

Christensen, J.F., Gaigg, S.B., Calvo-Merino, B. (2017). I can feel my heartbeat: Dancers have enhanced interoceptive accuracy. Psychophysiology.

Christensen, J.F. (2017). Not all about sex: Neural and biobehavioral functions of human dance. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Christensen, J. F. (2017). Pleasure junkies all around! Why it matters, and why 'the arts' might be the answer - a biopsychological perspective. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 284.

Christensen, J., Pollick, F., Lambrechts, A., & Gomila, A. (2016). Affective responses to dance. Acta Psychologica, 168, 91-105.

Christensen, J.F., Gomila, A., Gaigg, S.B., Sivarajah, N., Calvo-Merino, B. (2016). Dance Expertise Modulates Behavioral and Psychophysiological Responses to Affective Body Movement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Christensen, J.F., Gaigg, S.B., Gomila, A., Oke, P., & Calvo-Merino, B. (2014). Enhancing emotional experiences to dance through music: the role of valence and arousal in the cross-modal bias. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(757), 1-9.

Christensen, J.F., Nadal, M., Cela-Conde, C.J., & Gomila, A. (2014). A norming study and library of 203 dance movements. Perception, 43(2/3), 178-206. doi: 10.1068/p7581

Christensen, J.F., Calvo-Merino, B. (2013). Dance as a Subject for Empirical Aesthetics. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7(1), 76-88.

Flexas, A., Rosselló, J., Christensen, J.F., Nadal, M., Olivera de la Rosa, A., Munar, E. (2013). Affective priming using facial expressions modulates liking for abstract art. PLoS ONE, 8(11): e80154.

Pearce, M., Christensen, J.F. (2012). Conference Report: The Neurosciences and Music - IV - Learning and Memory. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind & Brain, 22(1).

Neuroscience of morality

Book chapters

Karin, J., Christensen, J. F., & Haggard, P. (2017). Mental Training. In V. Wilmerding & D. Krasnow (Eds.), Dancer Wellness. Champaign Canada: Human Kinetics.

Christensen, J.F., & Jola, C. (2015). Towards ecological validity in empirical aesthetics of dance. In M. Nadal, J. P. Huston, L. Agnati, F. Mora & C. J. Cela-Conde (Eds.), Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Calvo-Merino, B., Christensen, J.F. (2015). Neuroaesthetics and Dance. In J. O. Lauring (Ed.), Introduction to Neuroaesthetics - The neuroscientific approach to aesthetic experience, artistic creativity and arts appreciation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press.

Public media coverage for Dance-Science dialogs

Dance research work featured in Washington Post article by Sarah Kaufman. This is your brain on art.

Feature of Christensen, Gaigg & Calvo-Merino (2017). Study suggests dancers have an enhanced ‘sixth sense’.

Feature of Christensen, Gomila et al. (2016) Can dancing make you a better person? Study suggests link between ballet and sensitivity to others by the Washington Post

Feature of Christensen, Pollick et al. (2016) A preliminary psychology of how we're moved by watching dance by the British Psychological Society Research Digest

Siobhan Davis, Barbican Residence: Jonathan Cole invites Dr Julia F. Christensen to speak about dance and science interactions (London, UK, 2015)

Interview with Dr. Calvo-Merino, Dr. Julia F. Christensen and other dance scientists by a German dance magazine (‘Tanz‘) on the topic of neuroscience and dance (August, 2015) [in German] Citation: Rytina, S. (2015). Die Sprache der Gefuehle [the language of feelings]. Tanz - Zeitschrift fuer Ballet, Tanz und Performance [Dance - Journal of Ballet, Dance and Perfomance]. Jahrbuch 2015, pp. 42-46. Der Theater Verlag - Friedrich Berlin. ISBN: 978-3-942120-15-9 Citation: Rytina, S. (2015). Die Sprache der Gefuehle [the language of feelings]. Tanz – Zeitschrift fuer Ballet, Tanz und Performance [Dance – Journal of Ballet, Dance and Performance]. Jahrbuch 2015, pp. 42-46. Der Theater Verlag – Friedrich Berlin. ISBN: 978-3-942120-15-9

Intelligence and Action III. Dance Engaging Science Conference(Bielefeld, Germany, 2015) 
[p. 40 in English; p. 42 in German]

Press release of British Academy/Royal Society for the award of Newton International Fellowships 2014 (London, UK, 2015)

University press summary of doctoral thesis “Dance moves: Affective responses to expressive body movement” (Palma, Spain, 2014) [in Spanish]

Press release on Santander price for best doctoral students (Palma, Spain, 2013) [in Catalan]

University press summary publication of study on moral dilemmas (Palma, Spain, 2014) [in Catalan]

Public media coverage for Science of Morality

Modern Milgram experiment sheds light on power of authority(Nature News, 2016)

Following orders 'distances us' from our own actions (BBC News, 2016)

'Torture' study redo shows people feel less agency under orders(New Scientist News, 2016)

Coercion makes us feel less responsible (Sinc, 2016) [in Spanish]

University press summary publication of study on moral dilemmas (Palma, Spain, 2014) [in Catalan]

Contact

All rights reserved. Copyright © 2017 Manos Tsakiris

Manos Tsakiris
Department of Psychology
Royal Holloway, University of London
Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK

tel: +44 (0) 1784 276266
fax: +44 (0) 1784 434347
e-mail: manos.tsakiris@rhul.ac.uk

Manos Tsakiris
Department of Psychology
Royal Holloway, University of London
Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK

tel: +44 (0) 1784 276266
fax: +44 (0) 1784 434347
e-mail: manos.tsakiris@rhul.ac.uk

All rights reserved. Copyright © 2017 Manos Tsakiris