Expert in Dance Psychology Dr Peter Lovatt speaks at same event as President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey at the X4 Experience Management Summit

21 March 2019

The University of Hertfordshire’s Dr Peter Lovatt, an expert in dance psychology, this month delivered a keynote speech about his ground-breaking research at the Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit in Salt Lake City, which also featured keynote speeches from President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

The University of Hertfordshire’s Dr Peter Lovatt, an expert in dance psychology, this month delivered a keynote speech about his ground-breaking research at the Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit in Salt Lake City, which also featured keynote speeches from President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

Dr Lovatt was speaking to an audience of 10,000 experience management professionals from world-leading organisations about his “Tap-a-Tempo” project for people with the neurodegenerative condition Parkinson’s. The Tap-a-Tempo website has been designed to capture insights into the link between music and movement. The programme uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse this data for patterns and insights.

The results will be fed into Dr Lovatt’s Parkinson’s research programme at the Dance Psychology Lab at the University of Hertfordshire, set up in 2008 to explore connections between dancing, mobility and health and to gain a better understanding of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s.

The working partnership between Qualtrics and the University of Hertfordshire has led to the development of Tap-a-Tempo and this has changed the way we collect information from people with Parkinson’s, shedding new light on the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Using Tap-a-Tempo enables researchers, for the first time, to collect data from hundreds of people with Parkinson’s in a short period of time and to see new patterns of data. For example, Dr Lovatt’s latest study has indicated that people with Parkinson’s are significantly less coordinated than age- and sex-matched controls in a movement to music synchronization task and that male participants with Parkinson’s are significantly less coordinated and more variable than their control counterparts. These findings have implications for motor rehabilitation strategies for people with Parkinson’s, such as, rhythmic auditory stimulation, which rely on sensorimotor synchronization.

The Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit showcases how visionaries and leaders behind the world’s most iconic organisations design and deliver breakthrough customer, employee, product, and brand experiences.

I am immensely proud of the research we are doing at the University of Hertfordshire in to the relationship between rhythm, timing, movement and Parkinson’s. The relationship we have with Qualtrics has enabled us to develop new technologies which give us a completely new viewpoint on the changing symptoms of Parkinson’s, and I am very excited to see where this research programme takes us. In the short-term, I am unbelievably excited to be sharing a platform, in real life, with my all-time fantasy dinner party guests, Barack Obama, Sir Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey. The only fantasy-guest who’s missing is Fred Astaire, but in his place I will be thinking about all of the people with Parkinson’s who dance every week at the University and who give so generously of their time to enable the continuation of our research.

Dr Peter Lovatt
Reader in the Psychology of Dance at the University of Hertfordshire

Contact

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