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Cognitive Structures of Kinesthetic Space Reevaluating Rudolf Laban's Choreutics In the Context of Spatial Cognition and Motor Control

Longstaff, J.S. (1996). Cognitive Structures of Kinesthetic Space Reevaluating Rudolf Laban's Choreutics In the Context of Spatial Cognition and Motor Control. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


The choreutic conception of the spatial aspect of body movements (originated by Rudolf Laban) was reevaluated according to cognitive and motor
control research. "Kinesthetic spatial cognition" (analogous to visual spatial cognition) was identified as the psychological realm of choreutic knowledge. Kinesthesia was identified as arising from sensory receptors throughout the body. Kinesthetic space was defined as spatial information derived from kinesthesia. Kinesthetic spatial cognition was defined as cognitive processes (eg. mental rehearsal) involving kinesthetic spatial knowledge. This concept of kinesthetic spatial cognition has not been heretofore explicitly developed in cognitive science. Elements of the choreutic conception were psychologically validated since they are also well identified in cognitive and motor research. These include how spatial information is defined relative to a reference system; kinesthetic spatial knowledge is based on a mental code of elemental locations; higher-order networks of locations are collected into map-like spatial images; and many symmetrical operations can be performed. Close similarities were identified between choreutic polyhedral-shaped cognitive maps of the "kinesphere" and the "trajectory formation" model. A choreutic prototype/deflection hypothesis posits that dimensions and diagonals serve as conceptual prototypes while actual body movement consists of deflections. Similar spatial prototypes were identified in visual spatial cognition, a kinesiological analysis supported the bodily tendency towards deflections, and this concurred with ergonomic measurements of the shape of the workspace. An experiment attempted to identify prototypes in kinesthetic spatial cognition. Categories of kinesthetic spatial information are distinguished within choreutics and dance. These were reevaluated according to perceptual processes and
kinesiology. Choreutic topological forms deflecting across various kinespheric nets are analogous to N. Bernstein's conception of the "co-ordinational net of the motor field ... as oscillating like a cobweb in the wind". An experiment demonstrated that kinesthetic spatial information is organised into cognitive categories and that choreutic material and Labanotation symbols can be advantageously used in experimental research.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Departments: City, University of London (-2022) > School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Arts & Social Sciences
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