CFP: The 2nd International Baltic NeuroCine Conference April 23-24, 2024



Time: April 23.-24. 2024

Place: Baltic Film and Media School, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia

EXTENDEED Deadline for proposals: February 11, 2024



Tallinn invites scholars and creative professionals to contribute to the 2nd International Baltic NeuroCine conference. 

The aim of the NeuroCine conference is to enhance joint interdisciplinary research endeavours on cinematic storytelling, film viewing, and related first-person experiences. The paradigm of ‘neurocinematics’ (Hasson et al. Projections 2008), refers to experimental studies that apply neuroimaging methods to study the functional brain of several film viewers, allowing generalisation over individuals in terms of what is called intersubject correlation (see reviews Jääskeläinen et al. 2020, 2021; Tikka et al. 2023). However, it has become evident that neuro-physiological measurements alone do not suffice to fully understand how the neural data of film viewers relates to the temporally unfolding narrative content they have been viewing on one hand, and film viewers’ embodied first-person experiences on the other.

Another issue the 2nd NeuroCine conference addresses is that, so far, the focus of neurocinematics has mainly been on the film viewers, while the study of professional filmmakers has been to a great extent neglected. This is why we turn the attention also to the filmmakers. We ask, how experiences and actions of filmmakers could be addressed using neurocinematic methods? Could the accumulated understanding of the film viewers provide some clues for such an endeavour? What type of challenges such a study program might face?

We trust that by associating accumulated knowledge from distinct domains will allow a more holistic window to the phenomena under scrutiny. Hence, the NeuroCine conference invites both local and international colleagues to join the effort of bridging the explanatory gaps between (1) neuro-physiological observation data, (2) first-person experiential data, and (3) descriptive data of the experienced film content.


CONFIRMED Keynote speakers


Karen Pearlman

Karen Pearlman writes, directs, and edits screen productions. She researches creative practice, cognition, and film histories. Karen’s trilogy of short films about historical women editors (2016, 2018 & 2020) have won 34 highly competitive national and international awards from peak industry bodies and film festivals, including 3 for best editing, 4 for best directing and 7 for best documentary. Karen is the author of the widely used textbook on editing, ‘Cutting Rhythms’ (Focal Press) now in its 2nd edition and with translations into Chinese, Korean, Arabic and Turkish.  Her work has reached audiences of nearly 2 million people through collaboratively made research communication videos called ‘The Science of Editing’.  Karen is an Associate Professor in Screen Media at Macquarie University, Sydney, where she is a deputy director of Macquarie Uni’s Creative Documentary Research Centre’. She is member of the Board of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image, and has a monograph on filmmaker Shirley Clarke under contract with EUP.


Michael Pauen


Michael Pauen is a philosopher with a focus on the philosophy of mind. As the academic director of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, an interdisciplinary graduate school he has extensive experience in interdisciplinary research and training. Having a specific interest in philosophical and psychological aspects of human sociality, he focuses on social intelligence both in humans and in artificial systems.



Lauri Nummennmaa

Professor Lauri Nummennmaa leads the Human Emotion Systems laboratory at Turku PET Centre and Department of Psychology, University of Turku. His group studies functional and molecular neural mechanisms of human emotions and social interaction in complex, life-like settings with magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, magneto- and electroencephalography and behavioural techniques. He has written over 100 scientific articles on brain basis of emotions and social cognition. Currently his lab’s research is funded by the European Research Council, the Academy of Finland, The Sigrid Juselius Foundation and the Emil Aaltonen Foundation.






We invite boldly multidisciplinary papers to contribute with theoretical, conceptual and practical approaches to the experiential nature of filmmaking and viewing.

They may draw, for instance, from social and cognitive sciences, psychophysiology, neurosciences, ecological psychology, affective computing, cognitive semantics, aesthetics, or empirical phenomenology. Likewise we welcome all relevant systemic models and epistemic considerations. The focus of a submission may also focus on a specific film expertise, for example that of the writer, editor, cinematographer, scenographer or sound designer.


Contributions may address e.g.

  • Social cognition and embodied intersubjectivity
  • Interdisciplinary challenges for methods; annotations linking cinematic features to physiological data
  • First-and second-person methodologies; empirical phenomenological observations
  • Enactive mind; embodied simulation and ToM
  • Embodied metaphors in film; embodied film style; bodily basis of film language; cognitive semantics;
  • Cinematic empathy; emotions; cognitive identification
  • Temporality of experiences; context-dependent memory coding; story reconstruction; narrative comprehension;
  • Experiential heuristics; multisensory and tacit knowledge;
  • Storytelling strategies, aesthetics, film and media literacy; genre conventions

We look forward to proposals that target a broad audience beyond disciplinary niches in one of the following presentation categories:

  1. Presentations including Q&A (30 min)
  2. Presentations by filmmaker-scientist pairs including Q&A (40 min)
  3. Doctoral student case studies (20 min)
  4. Workshop proposals
  5. Demonstrations or screenings related to the theme



Simultaneously with the conference call we also open a call for papers to appear in the Special Issue on “Cinematic minds behind the screens” published by the International Journal of Film and Media Arts (IJFMA), Vol. 10 No. 1, first semester 2025

See info about IJFMA at

We accept long research articles (4000 – 7500 words w/o ref) and short articles and commentaries (2000 – 2500 words w/o ref). Submitted papers need to follow Submission guidelines

All full paper submissions go through the double-blind peer review process.

No fees are requested for submission or processing. IJFMA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal. Read more at 



Key dates for submissions to the NeuroCine conference and the journal IJFMA:

Extended! 11th of February, 2024: Submit abstracts of 350-500 words with five literature references via email to 

When submitting to the conference, please indicate your preferred type of presentation in one of the above listed categories  (1-5). Also write in the email heading (1) “Conference submission” if you are submitting only a conference presentation abstract; (2) “Conference and journal submission” if you are submitting both to conference and journal simultaneously; (3) “Journal submission” if you are submitting only to the journal)

20th of February, 2024: Acceptance of abstracts to the NeuroCine conference and/or to the IJFMA journal

30th of May, 2024: Submit full manuscripts for blind peer review following IJFMA Submission guidelines

20th of September, 2024: Resubmit date for revisions for IJFMA



Maarten Coëgnarts

Elen Lotman

Pia Tikka

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FilmEU_RIT pilot grant Artistic Research and Cognitive Film Studies: Towards a transdisciplinary understanding of cinema (ARCF) project.

Baltic Film, Media and Arts School (BFM), an institute with wide-based international education curricula embedded in the interdisciplinary community of Tallinn University. BFM BA, MA and PhD level study programs both in Estonian and English offer tools and skills for working on various positions in film production, TV, new media, communication, choreography, art and music. Its Centre of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture MEDIT, studies cultural change and innovation processes of digital media and offers a possibility to conduct artistic research in the field of audiovisual arts.

The Baltic NeuroCine research group at BFM is led by the research professor Dr. Pia Tikka and cinematographer Dr. Elen Lotman. Activities of the 2nd Baltic NeuroCine Conference are also supported by Pia Tikka’s 5-year team grant “Cinematic minds behind-the-scenes: A neurophenomenological window to filmmaker’s enactive cuing of expectations” (PRG2109) awarded by the Estonian Research Council (2024-2028).

The FilmEU European University is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The FilmEU_RIT Research, Innovation and Transformation project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. FilmEU Ref. 101004047, EPP-EUR-UNIV-2020 | FilmEU_RIT Ref: 101035820, H2020-IBA-SwafS-Support-2-2020 | ERASMUS-EDU-2023-EUR-UNIV Project: 101124314.


Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, Erasmus Plus or Horizon 2020. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.