Science of Disco

Guerilla Science teamed up with neuroscientists from the Max Planck Institute and Carwash, London’s longest running disco club, to carry out a live experiment that explored the strange things that happen in our brains when we hit the dance floor…

We were joined under the glitter balls by seventy disco-loving test subjects in an experiment designed to investigate what goes on during the peak moments in a DJ set, when people often report the feeling that they’re moving as one on the dance floor.

Image: Richard Eaton
Image: Richard Eaton
DJ Annie O – Image Richard Eaton
DJ Annie O – Image Richard Eaton

After signing an ethical consent form (always a great way to start the evening!) scientists Daniel Margulies and Melissa Ellamil fitted everyone with a fluorescent bum-bag and smartphone, which was equipped with an app that gathered data on people’s movements as they danced.  Everyone was then free to get glittered up and dance the night away to a very special set from DJ Annie O.

We are immensely proud to say that we have now officially danced our way into science history! The disco data has been analysed, results have been peer-reviewed, and it turns out, Wham! is sure to sync up the disco-dance floor! Read the final paper, published in the open-access journal PLOS One here.

Measuring movement on the dance floor – Image Richard Eaton
Measuring movement on the dance floor – Image Richard Eaton
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