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Online (Zoom)
Scotland branch

An exploration of the biological origins, neuroscience and therapeutic applications of music and dance

Event outline

Music and dance are universal human behaviours in cultures worldwide, with a spectrum of expression from deeply entrenched ritual, through entertainment, and into the realm of marketing. Does such ubiquity indicate adaptive value in our evolution, or is it a more mundane product of a large brain entertaining itself?

Today, it is well recognised the performance arts promote emotional and physical wellbeing in practitioners and audiences; motivation enough for us to sing, play, dance, watch and listen.  How does the brain process these creative behaviours and their effects, and are there further benefits from interplay with language and other cognitive activities? Can such positive responses be harnessed in 'real world' therapeutic practice?

Four notable scientists and social scientists will explore these questions, drawing on research experience in Scotland and beyond. The programme, including details on the speakers, is available to download.

The Royal Society of Biology in Scotland AGM will follow the symposium, and an agenda is available to download. The previous meeting's minutes can also be downloaded and will be formally approved in the meeting.

If you wish to raise an item for the AGM, please email at least 48 hours in advance.

Cost and booking

This event is free to attend and open to all, however only RSB Scotland members are eligible to vote in the AGM.


For specific event and AGM queries, please contact Russ Clare at or on 01786 842 314.
For booking or website queries, please contact Harriet McAra at or on 020 3925 3445.

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