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Moving together in time: the effects of coordinated movements on physical performance, social cognition and overall wellbeing

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Our Social Cognition and Movement Rehabilitation Lab (SCMR) investigates various topics on the role of non˗verbal behaviours in everyday conversations, social-cognitive effects of interpersonal synchrony (two or more individuals moving together in time) and explores movement interventions (e.g. dance exercises) for older adults with and without medical conditions.

This project aims to help us further understand the multifaceted benefits of engaging in highly coordinated, synchronous movement activities in a social everyday setting. Depending on the applicant’s interests and skills, this project will most likely focus on healthy adults, but there is the possibility of working with adults/older adults (NHS, Royal Berkshire Hospital) with medical conditions which negatively affect their motor control. This work will use a variety of methods, including behavioural and psychophysiological methods, to examine how synchronous movements affect movement performance, social cognition and overall well-being.

Successful candidates will be supervised by Dr Juliane J Honisch and will have the opportunity to work closely with national and international collaborators (clinical experts, engineers and psychologists). The student will have access to the latest 3D motion˗tracking technology and medical body composition analysers, and will receive training on conducting kinematic analyses. We also encourage applications from individuals who have an interest in exploring virtual reality as a tool to analyse multi-person coordination.

Potential candidates are invited to discuss their interest in this topic via email: .

Funding Notes

BSc (First Class or 2.1) or above in Psychology, Sports Science, Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering or a related and relevant discipline.


1) J.J. Honisch, D.S. Fraser, M.T.Elliott, J.T.Cacioppo, K. A. Quinn (under Review). Something in the Way We Move: Fluency and the Synchrony–Rapport Relationship. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

2) Honisch, J. J., Elliott, M. T., Jacoby, N. and Wing, A. M. (2016) Cue properties change timing strategies in group movement synchronisation. Scientific Reports, 6. 19439. ISSN 2045-2322 doi:

3) Blaesing, B., Calvo-Merino, B., Cross, E. S., Jola, C., Honisch, J. and Stevens, C. (2012) Neurocognitive control in dance perception and performance. Acta Psychologica, 139 (2). pp. 300-308. ISSN 0001-6918 doi:

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