I am most happy to announce that I will spend time in 2018 and 2019 at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Institute of Advanced Study in Delmenhorst near Bremen (Germany).
I will investigate the evolution and function of human dance.
I propose that humans have evolved cognitive mechanisms for the assessment of social information from body movement. These adaptations, together with language and music skills, may then have been used to share information beyond the mating context, thus facilitating ritualized forms of social exchange to build coalitions and strengthen social cohesion through synchronous activity. Social bonding through dance thus could have evolved in consequence of the adaptive problem of identifying honest cues of quality from body movement. I will review and evaluate evidence for conflicting theories on the evolution and social function of human dance. I aim to elucidate why dance has such a prominent role in human society and develop strategies for investigation of remaining questions. I will to use insights for the formulation of future research directions and strategies, with an emphasize on the importance of considering motor behavior in investigation of human social perception.