Analyzing the Analyst: An Experimental Data Video for Thinking Theatre and Cognitive Neuroscience Together


  • Yelena Gluzman University of California, San Diego (UCSD)


Embodiment theory suggests that social, political, emotional and cognitive processes cannot be separated from the ways that they form through, and are maintained by, bodily action. Interdisciplinary efforts to bring together embodied cognition paradigms from cognitive science and theatre practice often do so by reinforcing the divisions between disciplines. Here, drawing on a project I undertook in collaboration with a cognitive neuroscientist, I propose alternate configurations for multidisciplinarity between theatre and cognitive scientific practice, specifically arguing for an experimental focus on methodology. Experiments are interrogative sites of interaction whose staging shapes the sorts of phenomena that become visible. While experiments are central to the way that cognitive neuroscientists approach the empirical, they are also central to a range of reflexive artistic and theatrical practices that investigate the embodied, empirical conditions of their own production and reception. In Analyzing the Analyst, the experimental data video presented here, theatre-based experimental interventions in the cognitive science lab function as sites where divergent investigative approaches can become visible, actionable, manipulable, and theoretically viable to each other.

Author Biography

Yelena Gluzman, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Yelena Gluzman is a theater director and researcher. She is a PhD candidate in Communication, Science Studies & Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego.