Tag Archives: Juxtapositions

Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Haiku


 The eighth issue of Juxtapositions: Research and Scholarship in Haiku is out. JuxtaEIGHT is a themed issue on “haiku and wellness,” with several articles, interviews, and resources addressing this theme. And it includes two contributions by yours truly: the article “Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Haiku” is now available to download (pp 37-61), as well as a description of Haikupedia from the Resources section of Juxtapositions: Check them out here https://thehaikufoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/juxtaeight.pdf

I copy below the Abstract of the Parkinson’s article:

Parkinson’s Disease (PD)—the fastest growing neurodegenerative condition worldwide—affects a wide range of motor and nonmotor functions. At present, there is no cure. Only symptomatic treatment is available, aiming to improve quality of life and slow progression. The aim of this paper is to recommend haiku as a therapeutic tool helping with symptoms and, potentially, rate of progression. To this end, following a brief description of PD, and its symptoms grouped under two areas of loss resulting in life diminishment, I touch upon the general role of art and literature in augmenting pharmacological treatment of the disease, before focusing on some of the qualities of haiku (in the process of writing as well as the created poem) that collectively make haiku a containing vessel that can hold and transform the distress associated with the disease into a more bearable experience.

JuxtaFive: The Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship

Great news! JuxtaFive is ready and available to read online! This edition of the Haiku Foundation Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship includes several articles, reviews, haiga and a special section on Women Mentoring Women (and the article Knocking on the Doors of Perception on Haiku and the Brain contributed by me and co-authors: Thomas Geyer, Franziska Guenther, Jim Kacian, Heinrich Liesefeld, and Hermann J. Mueller).

Journal haiku,

“Haiku and the Brain” in Juxtapositions

A week ago,  I mentioned in this blog a second paper, addressing the haiku community, Haiku and the Brain: an Exploratory Study, in Juxtapositions: The Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship. Well, it is now online over at The Haiku Foundation. Do visit and check it out along with the other papers.

I am looking forward to reading the other contributions. And to receiving my own print copy of the Journal! Judging from the previous issues, it is a joy  to hold and leaf through. And a collector’s item. You don’t want to miss it! More information on how to obtain a copy, see  here

Meanwhile, here is the Abstract for this paper.

This paper presents the first results of an interdisciplinary project, bringing together haiku poets and neuro-/cognitive scientists, to investigate the reading of English-language haiku (ELH) as a potentially paradigmatic material for studying the reception of poetic texts. Our pilot study was based on the ‘eye-mind assumption’, that where and for how long we gaze at sections of text reflects processes of information harvesting for meaning construction. The results indicate that the interactive process between the poem and the reader gives rise to characteristic patterns of eye movements (saccades and fixations) across the text from which (i) the position of the cut (after line 1 vs. after line 2) and (ii) the type of haiku (context-action vs. juxtaposition) can be discerned. Finding (i) is of special importance: it provides evidence that the effect intended by the poet can indeed be traced in oculomotor behavior and that, thus, the cut is indeed a potent poetic/stylistic device with a specific effect in the reader. Moreover, readers’ recognition memory was found to be associated with more explicit, conscious-recollective experience of having read a particular haiku if the poem was self-rated to be understood. This suggests that the realization of the haiku’s ‘meaning gestalt’ in the reader’s mind, which may be associated with an ‘aha’ experience, is important for memory consolidation and remembering. Albeit tentative, these findings and conclusions open up interesting lines for future, interdisciplinary research.

Haiku and the Brain: An exploratory study

The relationship between poetry and science has been a long-standing fascination of mine. I am happy to report that for the last couple of years I have been involved in a study spanning the two, using haiku to understand how the brain receives, analyses, and constructs meaning. The first exploratory study has been written up and discussed in 3 papers, one of which can be found in the Journal of Eye Movement Research here
Journal of Eye Movement Research



Mueller, H., Geyer, T., Günther, F., Kacian, J., & Pierides, S. (2017). Reading English-Language Haiku: Processes of Meaning Construction Revealed by Eye Movements. Journal Of Eye Movement Research, 10(1).  doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.16910/10.1.4
This paper is the more detailed, scientifically oriented description of the exploratory study.





A more compact version of the same work, addressing the poetry community, is included in the forthcoming JUXTA 3.1: Pierides, S., Müller, H., Kacian, J., Günther, F., Geyer, T. (2017). Haiku and the brain: an exploratory study. Juxtapositions: A Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship 3(1). Due out mid March 2017!