Enactive Virtuality at CNA Sound and Storytelling Conference LA March 22

Pia Tikka and Martin Jaroszewicz gave a joint talk at the CNA Sound and Storytelling Conference.

Image: Dr. Martin Jaroszewicz disucssing his ideas of enactive VR soundscapes at the Chapman University conference, Orange, CA, March 22.

“Enactive Virtuality – a framework for dynamically adaptive soundscapes”. 

The novel notion of enactive virtuality is discussed, drawing from the theories of enactive mind [1], and the concept of enactive cinema [2]. The key attribute of ‘enactive’ refers here to the setting in which the human agent is in continuous feed-back-looped interaction with the surrounding world. Enactive virtuality in turn refers to the story emerging in the agent’s mind in this dynamical setting in order to make sense of the world. This story is based on the agent’s current situation and previous experiences [3], and in relation to others through neurally built-in imitation of their actions [4]. Thus, the concept of ‘enactive virtuality’ extends beyond the common techno-spatial buzzword of ‘virtual reality’. While virtual reality technologies allow platforms where the perception of sound events can be modulated algorithmically, we describe the human agent’s experience of a dynamically adaptive soundscape as an expression of enactive virtuality.Theories and techniques of sound transformations in the spectral domain [5,6,7] for this setting are discussed.

References:

[1] Varela F, Thompson E, Rosch E. 1991. Embodied Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[2] Tikka P. 2008. Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense. PhD diss. Helsinki: Univ. Art and Design Publ.

[3] Heyes CM, Frith CD. The cultural evolution of mind reading. Science. 2014 Jun 20;344(6190):1243091. doi:10.1126/science.1243091.

[4] Gallese V, Eagle MN, Migone P. 2007. Intentional attunement: mirror neurons (…) J Am Psychoanal Assoc. 55(1):131-76.

[5] Jaroszewicz, M. 2015 Compositional Strategies in Spectral Spatialization. PhD thesis,University of California Riverside,

[6] Jaroszewicz, M. 2017 ”Interfacing Gestural Data from Instrumentalists,” ART – Music Review, vol. 32.

[7] Kim-Boyle. 2008. “Spectral spatialization – an overview,” RILM Abstracts of Music Literature. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.bbp2372.2008.086

A 13 min talk on Neurocinematics, Tallinn University Day 2018

 

1920x1080-13-eng.jpgSee full program here

At 12:15 session Pia Tikka, Research Professor, Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School “Neurocinematics”

My 13 minutes will introduce a multidisciplinary research paradigm of neurocinematics. Combining methods of cinema, enactive media, and virtual screen characters with those of cognitive sciences it allows us to unravel new aspects of the neural basis of storytelling, creative imagination, and narrative comprehension. In addition to contributing to academic research on human mind, neurocinematics contributes to a range of more specifically targeted goals, such as the impact of audiovisual media on its audience for artistic, therapeutic, or commercial implementations, to name few of many.

TALK @Brain Awareness Week 2018

Brain Awareness Week 2018

Tallinn University is celebrating Brain Awareness Week (BAW) for the second year in a row! This year we have an open seminar

“Meet the Researchers”

Monday, March 12 from 2PM to 6 PM “Meet the Researchers”, University of Tallinn (Narva mnt. 29), room A-325.
Take part of a seminar where experts from the field take the floor and discuss brain, promote the benefits of brain research and inform the public about what we do as neuroscientist and brain researchers.

Researchers:

  • Professor Talis Bachmann – Professor of Cognitive and Legal Psychology (University of Tartu)
  • Dr Toomas Toomsoo – Neurologist (East-Tallinn Central Hospital)
  • Pia Tikka, PhD – Finnish film director and leading research scientist (Tallinn University)
  • Erika Comasco, PhD – Neuropsychopharmacologist (Uppsala University)

NeuroCine team’s study on Memento gains international media attention Feb 2018

Pia Tikka

The neuroscientific study my research team NeuroCine initiated at the Aalto University some years ago has been published in NeuroImage journal.

 

The Neural Basis of Watching “Memento”

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-nolan-memento-reveals-brain-events.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180221122954.htm

http://www.sciencenewsline.com/news/2018022116140007.html

http://www.iltalehti.fi/terveysuutiset/201802212200761490_we.shtml

https://www.sttinfo.fi/tiedote?publisherId=37936456&releaseId=66429298

Links provided by Tiina Aulanko-Jokirinne, Communications Coordinator at Aalto University

Enactive Avatar in Time Flies Nordica Spring 2018

You can find an article about prof Pia Tikka and her studies on enactive co-presence between the viewer and screen character in the Nordica in flight magazine “Time Flies”.

You can also read the article in BFM’s blog:
http://media.tlu.ee/imagine-movies-could-read-your-emotions

If you are not there where are you? 27 Feb 2018

Pia Tikka

With the IYANTWAY director Maartje Nevejan, cinematographer Jean and sound designer Fokke in the Kaurismäki Brothers’ Moscow Bar Helsinki. The group is seeking to gain new insights to the experience of absence seizures through artistic contemplation. See more at the productions’web pages  http://www.ceruttifilm.nl/documentaire.php?filmid=12

My interview on neurocinematic topics was flavoured by watching a powerful scene from Aki Kaurismäki film Match Factory Girl, which we have shown to elicit broad whole brain activity in several viewers (orange colour) in functional MRI. This research was conducted at the aivoAALTO research group at Aalto University (2009–2014), and AK’s film was the first that our neurocinematic team took into brain imaging lab.

See more in our research article:

Juha M. Lahnakoski , Juha Salmi, Iiro P. Jääskeläinen, Jouko Lampinen, Enrico Glerean, Pia Tikka, Mikko Sams (2012). Stimulus-Related Independent Component and Voxel-Wise Analysis of Human Brain Activity during Free Viewing of a Feature Film. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035215

 

NeuroCine collaborator Professor Emerita Riitta Hari awarded due to excellence in brain research

Olav Thon Foundation grants the 2018 international research award to Academician, Professor Emerita Riitta Hari

The researcher prize was awarded due to excellence in brain research.

Picture: Mikael Ahlfors, The Women Leaders Program of Finland Chamber of Commerce.

 

The Norwegian Olav Thon Foundation has named Professor Emerita Riitta Hari the recipient of its international researcher award for excellence in brain research. The award totals 5 million Norwegian kroner, which is approximately 518,000 euros.

According to the foundation’s chairperson Olav Thon, Professor Emerita Riitta Hari is a highly respected brain researcher. Many breakthroughs have been made in the field of brain science thanks to Hari.

According to Ole Petter Ottersen, head of the Olav Thon Foundation’s Expert Committee and President of Karolinska Institutet, Hari has been a pioneer of magnetoencephalography (MEG) since the 1980s.

‘This award came as a complete surprise to me. I have been Professor Emerita at the Aalto University Department of Art since 2016, with the aim to lower the borders between art and neuroscience. I take great delight in the award, as well as in the possibility to continue my interesting research, and even to participate in the ceramics courses at the Departments of Art and Design,’ says Professor Emerita Riitta Hari.

Hari directed brain research at Aalto University for over three decades. In 2010, she was granted the honorary title of Academician of Science. Hari has published over 300 peer reviewed articles and numerous other publications. In 2009 Hari was the recipient of the Finnish Science Award, in 2003 she received the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine and in 2001 Hari was granted the Matti Äyräpää award.

Previous awards

Pia Tikka

Celebrating Academician Riitta Hari, the director and leading neuroscientist of our globally unique neurocinematics research project aivoAALTO at Aalto University (2009–2014). And the inspiring dialogue between arts and sciences continues – now across the Finish Gulf 

See our co-authored papers at neurocine.net

 

 

TALK by Bruce Sheridan on Creativity: Embodied, Extended, and Enactive 19 Jan 2018

Speaker: Bruce Sheridan (University of Auckland) 
Time: January 19th (Thursday) at 15:00
Place: M-213

Creativity: Embodied, Extended, and Enactive

Cognitivism and computational theories of mind drove approaches to creativity through the 20th century, and formal education across arts and sciences continues to draw on assumptions that are increasingly challenged by developments in neuroscience and artificial intelligence. By emphasizing the physically embodied, socially extended, and inherently enactive nature of human mentation, creativity can be understood as a fundamental, ubiquitous, and highly dynamic capacity central to all human activities. In this presentation I consider ways to conceptualize creativity and learning holistically, and how this approach can both draw from and contribute to work in the biological, physical, and social sciences.

Professor Bruce Sheridan is a filmmaker and educator based in Chicago. He began his filmmaking career in New Zealand, where he produced and directed drama and non-fiction projects for cinema and television, and won the 1999 Best Drama Award for the tele-feature Lawless. From 2001-2017 he was Chair of Cinema Art + Science at Columbia College Chicago, where he led the creation of the Media Production Center, a unique laboratory for modeling and investigating professional collaborative filmmaking practice. Professor Sheridan is Chair of the North American region of CILECT, the international organization of screen education institutions, and a member of the Creativity Research Initiative team at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he is currently completing his PhD in philosophy.

With Bruce and Pia in the middle: Vice-Rector for Creative Activities and Cooperation Andres Jõesaar, Head of BFM Katrin Saks, and our EU Mobilitas Plus -project coordinator Maria Hansar.

Mid-point examination: Einar Egeland Nov 2017

Pia Tikka

I served as a Commentator for the mid-evaluation of the professional film editor Einar Egeland’s 3 year project at the Norwegian Film School, conducted in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Department of Psychology. The Norwegian Artistic Research Programme is stately funded, and divided into two: A​ doctoral research programme (PhD), and one which is concentrating purely on artistic research, as that of Egeland’s study on his editing process of the film “King’s Choice” (image), the film also selected to compete for the prizes of the European Film Academy 2017.

 

See here The King’s Choice – Norway’s number one in the cinemas

 

Doctoral defense: Thorbjörn Swenberg, 15 Sept 2017

Pia Tikka

I had the pleasure to serve as an opponent for the public defense of film editor Thorbjörn Swenberg’s doctoral thesis in Innovation and Design at Mälardalen University, room Raspen (Eskilstuna Campus, Verktyget) at 10.00 on September 15, 2017.

Title: “Framing the Gaze: (Audio-)Visual Design Intentions and Perceptual Considerations in Film Editing”

The faculty examiner is PhD Pia Tikka, Aalto University  [Tallinn University, starting Sept 1] and the examining committee consists of Professor Jonas Löwgren, Linköping University, Barbara Tversky, Professor emerita på Stanford University och Professor at Teachers College Columbia University and Docent Tomas Axelson, Dalarna University. Reserve: Docent Peter E Johansson, Mälardalen University.

Abstract

How we perceive a film, and what we focus on when following a film story, is to a great extent dependent on how the film is compiled. In other words, how the film is edited by the film editor. This study has been designed to enable a better understanding of the film editor’s profession, how s/he assesses the edits, as well as how the editing precision influences the attention of the film viewer.

This doctoral thesis shows how a film editor strives to direct the film viewer’s attention across film edits by means of a principle I term “framing the gaze”. The film editor considers perceptual properties of sound and image when s/he processes the audiovisual material. Either, the viewer should notice a passing edit, or the shots joined into a film sequence should be merged in a seamless manner so that they are experienced as one ongoing flow of moving image, without breaks between shots. This is called continuity.

In compiling each edit, the editor decides whether that particular edit should be noticeable, or not, depending on his/her intention. The question is, how meticulous the editor must be about the point where shots meet if the edit is to remain un-noticed, and how the best precision is achieved.

In this study, a documentary film sequence is edited by a film editor, and the process, including the considerations made about each edit, has been recorded. The editing process and the film sequence are then discussed by the researcher and the editor together. In this thesis, film editing is thus considered as a kind of design work, which is a new approach to analysing film editing.

When the film sequence in the study was screened before a test audience, accompanied by a version of the sequence with less precision at the edit points, the film viewers’ gazes varied according to the precision of the edits. Less precision (as in the altered version) rendered signs of high cognitive load, and, hence, poor understanding of the film.

The conclusion of this research is that the film editor’s perceptual precision at the edit point is crucial for reaching his/her intention regarding the film viewer’s gaze. When the perceptual precision is low, it is likely that the film viewer does not experience continuity.

Thus, the study demonstrates how tiny audiovisual details can make a huge impact in film editing, giving us a better understanding of how film editors think and work. We also gain some tentative implications for the role of perception in other kinds of design work.

More here.