Togetherness as borderlinking, empathy, and interconnectedness
Tudor Balinisteanu, a Visiting Scholar at the Academy, is currently researching empathy as studied within neuroaesthetics, psychology of the arts, and development psychology frameworks. The focus on empathy is developed through a number of international collaborative research projects. Thus, he is leading PoeticA, an international Romanian-Norwegian research consortium project on the biological universals of the aesthetic experience of poetry, in which neural entrainment to rhythm and conceptual metaphors engendering anticipation of reward are major topics. He is equally invested in research on the origins of dance in mutual entrainment, and on how mutual entrainment underpins the experience of empathy in adult life. With funding from the European Union, he is also working in a team developing empathic visual identities for medical AIs, aiming to create a joint US-Romanian spin-off entity within the VIVAET (Visual identities of Virtual Agents with Empathic Traits) project. Currently, this team, to be further enlarged, involves scholars from New Mexico State University, the University Institute of Lisbon, and Goldsmiths, University of London. Other major research interests are linked to medical humanities and mental health, and are connected to empathy engendered in partnered dance in pairs, especially improvisation. Previously he has worked in literary studies specializing at doctoral level in contemporary Scottish and Irish women's writing, and at postdoctoral level in Irish modernism, especially W. B. Yeats and James Joyce. Tudor Balinisteanu has established the first Neuroaesthetics Lab in Romania, at the University of Suceava (https://neuroaestheticslab.usv.ro/). The Lab's research outcomes will inform the development of the first neuroaesthetics course in Romania.