Monday, November 20, 2017

Suzanne Dikker, PhD (GSAS ’10) on Merging Neuroscience and Performance Art

Photo credit: Thaddeus Rombauer
An Amsterdam native, Dr. Dikker is a researcher in the NYU Psychology Department Poeppel Lab and at Utrecht University. We visited her lab to find out how she merges cognitive neuroscience with education and performance art in her research. She also shared her experiences working with performance artist Marina Abramovic, who is best known for sitting immobile for 736 and 1/2 hours while spectators took turns sitting across from her in The Artist is Present at MoMA.

What did you study at NYU?

I was a PhD student in the Department of Linguistics. My experience as a graduate student was fantastic. I learned a lot from the faculty and my fellow students. In the Poeppel Lab in the Department of Psychology, where I am now a Research Scientist, there are some researchers who are just geniuses. It is an honor to be in this environment and among this community on a daily basis.

During my graduate studies, I was lucky to have the opportunity to work on projects that required group work, as opposed to only solitary efforts. I had a lot of collaboration with fellow students (most prominently: Hugh Rabagliati) and interaction with research subjects. I also had Liina Pylkkanen, Professor of Linguistics and Psychology, as my advisor. She was very hands-on and invested in her students, so I learned a great deal from her.