Workshop on Enactive Mind and Media at Politecnico di Milano, 12-16 Feb 2018

 

At the Politecnico Milano, School of Design, professor Pia Tikka (MEDIT/BFM) and Ilkka Kosunen (MEDIT/DTI – in image on the right) are running their workshop week with a group of 40 students of Communication Design.

The topic is as challenging as thrilling: “Enactive Mind and Media”.

In addition to providing the students at Polimi new insights to Enactive media and biosensor-driven interaction design, the workshop also contributes to the international dissemination strategy of the EU Mobilitas Pluss Top Research project by Dr. Pia Tikka. Ilkka Kosunen’s travel is funded by Erasmus Mobility, TLU. The workshop utilizes (DTI) Digital Technology Institute’s biosensor technology and expertise. During the workshop also contacts with the local hi-tech researchers and industry are created.

A great news is that the bilateral agreement of Erasmus Mobility for Staff Exchange has been established between Tallinn University BFM and Politecnico Milano School of Design starting 2018 January. The agreement was initiated at TLUby Enactive Virtuality Lab.

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

 

Common VR/AR grounds with TTÜ and EKA Jan 25

Pia Tikka

Enactive Virtuality team in search for the common grounds with TTÜ and EKA at Ericsson Connectivity room in Mektory House (Raja 15, 12618 Tallinn) 25.01.2018. In order to cultivate successful research environments to study and develop innovations within virtual reality, augmented reality and other related audiovisual fields, collaboration across distinct academic institutions with their specific expertise is essential.

Hosts@TTÜ: Aleksei Tepljakov Research Scientist, Eduard Petlenkov Associate Professor, and Ahmet Kose Junior Researcher at TTU;  Guests: Kristjan Mändmaa, Dean of Design, Ruth Melioranski Design Researcher, Tanel Kärp Interaction Design Program Manager at EKA; Suk-Jae Chang, AR/VR businessman; Pia Tikka, Professor TLU.

Link to Recreation Lab at TTU: https://recreation.ee

Doctoral defense: Kaisu Lankinen at Aalto Uni Jan 19

Pia Tikka

The doctoral defense of my neurocinematic co-author and collaborator Kaisu Lankinen, M.Sc.(Tech.) defended her dissertation “Dynamics of cortical brain activity during movie viewing” on 19 January 2018 at 12:15 noon at the Aalto University School of Science. In her thesis work, Lankinen has examined brain activity during movie viewing as measured with magnetoencephalography (MEG).Movies trigger perceptual, cognitive and emotional processes at multiple levels of the viewer’s brain, and they thus provide useful tools to study human brain function. Furthermore, movies—as relatively natural stimuli—can help understand brain activity occurring during our everyday life. See more here: http://www.aalto.fi/en/current/events/vaitos_lankinen_kaisu/

Image (from the left): Opponent Assistant Professor Laura Astolfi, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; Custos professor Lauri Parkkonen, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering; Kaisu Lankinen.

In the excited audience the core innovators and developers of the brain imaging method of magnetoencephalography (MEG): Matti Hämäläinen (left) and my collaborators in neurocinematics, Riitta Hari and Elina Pihko (left).  In early 1980’s, Riitta Hari pioneered the use of MEG to follow the spatiotemporal dynamics of brain activity, providing fundamental insights into auditory, somatosensory, visual, and pain and motor processing in healthy subjects and patient groups. In her thesis Kaisu Lankinen  developed new data analysis methods for use of  MEG in studying movie viewing processes in collaboration with her supervisor Miika Koskinen and others.

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.

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.

 

TALK by Pia Tikka @ BFM and MEDIT Sept 2017

Pia Tikka

A “thank you” for everyone attending the introductory presentation on my background in neurocinematics and enactive cinema as well as future research outline, as the starting point for fruitful research collaboration with the faculty and researcher community @ BFM and MEDIT, September 2017.

http://www.tlu.ee/en/Baltic-Film-Media-Arts-and-Communication-School/Events/7268/medit-seminar-pia-tikka

http://medit.tlu.ee/news/medit-seminar-intimate-dynamics-of-facing-the-other-as-a-model-of-predictive-processes-a-neurocinematic-approach