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The University of Chicago
Department of Psychology
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Chicago, IL, 60637

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Heather Harden


Background

Heather is a third year doctoral student in the cognitive program working with Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow and Dr. Howard Nusbaum. She graduated from Haverford College in 2011 with Honors in Psychology and a minor in Dance. At Haverford she did independent research with Dr. Marilyn Boltz on how music and movement communicate emotion and bias perception. After graduation, Heather worked with Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow and Dr. Susan Levine at the University of Chicago as a research assistant for the Language Development Project studying gesture and higher order thinking. She also worked with Dr. Nusbaum as a research assistant investigating how mental and somatic practices affect wisdom, anxiety, and bodily awareness.


Research Interests

Heather researches how movement and meditation affect learning and wisdom. She is currently focusing on how gestures, facial expressions, and autonomic nervous system activity change over the course of learning, and on identifying individual differences that predict who will learn from gesture instruction. She also studies how dance training affects attention to somatic signals during learning, how meditation and sleep affect perceptual learning and memory consolidation, how performers experience and communicate emotion, and the benefits of mindful movement training in classroom settings. As an NSF fellow, Heather is passionate about the broader impacts of her work and communicating findings from the lab to the classroom.

Presentations and Publications

Williams, P. B., Harden, H. L., Kontra, C., Nusbaum, H., and Hoeckner, B. The relationship between mental and somatic practices and wisdom. PLoS ONE (in revision).

Matelski Boulware, J., Huskey, B., Harden, H. L., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2015, August). The effects of online mindfulness training on wisdom in elementary school teachers: A pilot study. Poster presented at the Annual American Psychological Association Convention, Toronto, Ontario.

Harden, H. L. (2015, June). From movement to gesture: How the body reflects and enhances learning. Symposium talk presented at the Annual inter-Science of Learning Centers Conference, San Diego, CA.

Williams, P. B., Kontra, C., Harden, H. L., Nusbaum, H. C., & Hoeckner, B. (2014, May). The Association Between Wisdom and Practice. Poster presented at Midwestern Psychological Association Conference. Chicago, IL.

Harden, H. L., Necka, E., Fitzgibbon, P., & Hopkins, E. (2014, May). Emotions and Physiology during Artistic Performance. Presentations by the recipients of the 2014 Arts/Science Graduate Collaboration Grants. Office of the Vice President for Research and for National Laboratories. University of Chicago. Chicago, IL.

Harden, H. L., Necka, E., Fitzgibbon, P., & Hopkins, E. (2014, April). Emotions and Physiology during Artistic Performance. Expose Yourself Series. University of Chicago. Chicago, IL.

Harden, H. L. (2014, March). Increasing Insight: Effects of Meditation on Creative Problem Solving. Wisdom Research Forum. University of Chicago. Chicago, IL.

Harden, H.L. (2014). Demand for shorter leisure experiences: What arts organizations can learn from the cognitive science of attention. Culture Lab Library. Cultural Policy Center, the University of Chicago.

Harden, H. L. & McFadden, W. (2012, April). The Music of Movement: Harnessing Motion Capture Technology to Measure Synchronization in Dance. Presentations by the recipients of the 2012 Arts/Science Graduate Collaboration Grants. Office of the Vice President for Research and for National Laboratories. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Harden, H. L. & Cherichello, G. (2011, April). Seeing Music, Hearing Dance: The Role of Affect in Music and Dance Interactions. Senior Thesis Presentations, Department of Psychology. Haverford College, Haverford, PA.

 

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