Title: Dialogue between neuro- and pheno-dynamics of film viewing experience
Tikka, Pia and Rosic, Jelena
One of the main questions put forward by neuro-phenomenology (Varela 1996) is how to bring into a frui\ul dialogue the two to allegedly incommensurable domains of science, namely the one unraveling neural functions of being-human in the world (neuro-dynamics), and that describing the experience of being-human in the world (pheno-dynamics). As it seems in the light of current literature, the main challenge lies in the identification of the mutual constraints (ibid.), this is, the domain-specific conditions on both fields that would allow for reciprocally fruitul dialogue. By discussing phenomenologically informed reflections and corresponding findings of a neurocinematic study we aim to apply such an interdisciplinary dialogue in the domain of film studies. We argue that neurocinematic methods can be optimised with specifications provided by phenomenological inquiry.
1. Greene, B. (1999). The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company.
2. Kauttonen, J., Hlushchuk, Y., Jääskeläinen, I. P., & Tikka, P. (2018). Brain mechanisms underlying cue-based memorizing during free viewing of movie Memento. NeuroImage, 172, 313–325.
3. Memento (2000). Directed by Christopher Nolan. US: Summit Entertainment & Team Todd.
4. Petitmengin C. (2006). Describing one’s subjective experience in the second person: An interview method for the science of consciousness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 5(3-4), 229–269.
5. Varela, Francisco J. (1996). Neurophenomenology. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3(4), 330–349.
Paper Presentation accepted to NECS conference – Postponed 2021 (covid-19)
Transitions: Moving Images and Bodies
18–20 June 2020
Hosted by the University of Palermo
Panel members: Ian Christie, Ana Olenina, Julia Vassilieva, Pia Tikka
Conference cancelled due to cover-19.
Luria-Eisenstein experiment of embodiment re-enacted in virtual reality
This talk discusses the practical revival of the psychological experiment that Alexander Luria and Sergei Eisenstein conducted a century ago into a virtual reality (VR) setup. The experiment, that applied hypnosis to subjects in order to study the linkage between sensorimotor behavior and mental states, was rediscovered by Julia Vassilieva in 201#.
The talk has several goals:
(1) To highlight the parachronic nature of theoretical discoveries: As proposed in my Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense (2008, 42), theoretical ideas have the tendency to re-emerge anew in cycles, adapted to the current context again and again. Even today’s embodied mind approach has its roots deep in the theoretical ideas of historical practitioners in arts and sciences, such as Luria and Eisenstein.
(2) To address significant paradigmatic overlaps: The re-enacted experiment allows identifying common grounds between the psychoanalytical ideas as it was conceived of as in the Luria-Eisenstein experiment and the neuro-phenomenological approach introduced by Francisco Varela in 1996. Furthermore, it allows relating Raymond Bellour’s idea of the hypnotic nature of cinematic experience (2009) to the experience of immersion in virtual reality settings, as also discussed recently by Marie-Laure Cazin (unpublished thesis 2020).
(3) To reconfigure the practical set-up of the Luria-Eisenstein experiment by means of VR with a focus on comparing the methodologies of producing immersive experience in their time and today.
In sum, following the original protocol reported by Luria and Eisenstein, the re-enacted experiment extrapolates the theoretical ideas of Eisenstein-Luria collaboration onto the 21st century art-science context.
BOOSTING COMMERCIAL AND SOCIETAL-AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS WITH PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCES
(Postponed to fall 2021 due to covid-19)
The Seminar day is designed for professionals working with commercials and social-awareness campaigns.
The aim of the seminar is to cultivate new ideas for designing personalized media messages by means of enactive storytelling. Stories are the key to human mind, emotions, and social behavior, is it in politics, shopping, or bringing up our kids. Stories allow people to justify their decisions to the others, but, perhaps even more importantly, to themselves.
These stories one makes up are simultaneously inter-personally shared and very personal. And this is where the professional business of storytelling for commercial and social media messages comes onboard.
The speakers with expertise from the field provide understanding of enactive storytelling, the state of the art on neural and physiological methods, and recent trends in neuromarketing. The talks spark fresh insights to challenging topics of (a) designing personalized experiences and (b) measuring personal experience data.
The full day program with lectures and Q&As on elaborated campaign concepts equip the participants with an inspiring package of new ideas to take back to their daily practice.
The participants will have access to knowledge on:
- Principles of enactive storytelling
- Recent trends in neuromarketing
- Real-time biofeedback in designing interactive content
- Interdependence between human experience, content of media, and physiological measures
KEYNOTE: ERIK BÄCKMAN Partner, Strategy Director, Miltton
Erik Bäckman (MA) has 30 years of experience in strategic communication, media and journalism. He works at Finland’s biggest communication agency with leadership training, strategy, branding and crisis communication. Prior to Miltton, Erik has worked as head of strategy, head of media research and concept development and as a TV news journalist at the Finnish national broadcaster YLE. His very practically oriented approach to storytelling is based on the current findings of psychological and neuropsychological research.
KAIDI REEDE, Consumer and Market Research Manager, Initiative
Kaidi Reede is a consumer and market research manager in media agency Initiative, Tallinn, Estonia. Before joining Initiative 3 years ago she worked as a research expert in Kantar Emor.
Kaidi holds the Master of Social Sciences (psychology and organizational behavior, Tallinn University). Psychology studies and experience in research led to understanding that people do not always behave as they say and we process a lot of information unconsciously. This is where the interest towards neuromarketing started and in 2012 Kaidi was issued a neuromarketing researcher certificate by neuromarketing agency NeuroHM. Since that time Kaidi has conducted numerous neuromarketing surveys in Estonia using different methodologies like EEG, GSR, facial coding, eye-tracking and reaction time measurement. The most recent neuromarketing study concerned alcohol visibility in the shops before and after the restrictions on displaying alcoholic drinks passed into law in June 2019. Kaidi has also performed on neuromarketing topic at different conferences and as a guest speaker in universities.
HEIDI REINSON, Senior Consultant in Behavioural Sciences, Kanta Emor
Heidi Reinson started her career in marketing and brand management, working in The Coca-Cola Company and Valio Baltics. She soon realised that her degree in Economics is not enough to fully understand the consumer. Her interest in the scientific background of consumer behaviour led to her MSc studies in Cognitive and Decision Sciences at University College London (UCL). After UCL, Heidi’s mission has been to combine the two distinct research areas – marketing and cognitive science – in the most practical ways. Heidi was the first in the Baltics to conduct neuromarketing studies (spring 2012) and has been active in popularizing behavioural sciences’ application in the region. She has presented at various conferences in the Baltics (incl TEDxRiga 2015), Finland and Austria as well as written popular science articles. Since 2013, she also teaches Economic and Consumer Behaviour at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga.
PIA TIKKA, Filmmaker, Research Professor, Enactive Virtuality Lab, TLU
Dr. Pia Tikka is a professional filmmaker and EU Mobilitas Research Professor at the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (BFM) and MEDIT Centre of Excellence, Tallinn University. She holds the honorary title of Adjunct Professor of New Narrative Media at the University of Lapland. Prior to her joining BFM, she was the Principal Investigator for the NeuroCine project (2010-2017) at Aalto University, Finland, contributing also to the neuroeconomics in NeuroService project at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences (2014–2015). In 2010, she was a Fulbright scholar in the Institute for Multimedia Literacy at the University of Southern California and a researcher in residency in Neuroaesthetics at the Minerva Foundation, Berkeley, US. She was a lecturer in Film Theory and Film Analysis at the Baltic School of Film and Media (2006-2007). As a filmmaker, Pia has directed the feature films Daughters of Yemanjá (1996), Sand Bride (1998), several interactive media projects, and published on the topics of enactive media, including her book “Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense”(2008). She holds degree of Graphic Designer in Advertising, and has a decade long work experience in advertising and concept designing. Currently, her Enactive Virtuality research group studies psychophysiological and emotional basis of cinematic systems, storytelling and creative imagination.
The first hand insights to neuromarketing methods used in Estonia, highlighted with case studies. The pros and cons of methods used in real life environments and laboratory settings are discussed, including eye-tracking, valence/arousal measures, electroencephalography (EEG), reaction time measurement and emotional coding surveys.
13:00-14:00 Nudging – a toolbox for marketing professionals and policy makers– Heidi Reinson
The presentation will give an overview of human decision making processes and inspire you to use behavioural insights in designing marketing activities and social interventions. She will combine academic research findings with real life examples.
14-14:15 Case: (t.b.c.)
14:15-14:30 Case: (t.b.c.)
4:30-14:45 Case: (t.b.c.)
14:45-15 Coffee break
15-17 Engaging storytelling – Erik Bäckman
How can you engage people with storytelling that conveys your message and involves people in co-creating the story and making it their own? A practical introduction to applying classical storytelling structures and tools in dialogue with your audience.
17-18 Panel and open discussion
New challenges and ethical implications – sustainability, big data, privacy, and other issues
Changes in program may occur.
Organizer: Pia Tikka, research professor, Enactive Virtuality Lab, Center of Excellence in Media Innovations and Digital Culture MEDIT, BFM, TLU
Seminar assistant: Andreas Unt, video-marketing specialist in BRANDEM employer branding agency, Estonia.
Creative Lab: Ermo Säks, manager
Consultation: Tiina Hiob, Lecture of Advertising theory, BFM, TLU; Katrin Sigijane, Creative Lab, MEDIT, BFM, TLU
Accommodation and meals are not included in the the price.
Invited lecture and a collaboration meeting with professor Iiro P Jääskeläinen and Enactive Virtuality Lab May 21-22, 2019.
Image: Pia Tikka, Iiro P Jääskeläinen, Jelena Rosic, and Ilkka Kosunen at MEDIT meeting space.
May 21 at 3-4 pm Dr Iiro P. Jääskeläinen, Associate Professor of the Brain and Mind Laboratory, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University School of Science, Finland,
gave an open neurocinematic talk on “Using movies as real-life like stimuli during neuroimaging to study the neural basis of social cognition” (room M-134).
Movies and narratives are increasingly used as stimuli in neuroimaging studies. This in many ways helps bridge the gaps between neuroscience, psychology, and even social sciences by allowing stimulation of, and thus also measurement of neural activity underlying, phenomena that have been less amenable to study with more traditional neuroimaging stimulus-task designs. Observation of signature patterns underlying discrete emotions across largely shared brain structures have suggested that both basic and dimensional emotion theories are partly correct. Robust differences in brain activity when viewing genetic vs. adopted sisters going through a moral dilemma in a movie clip have shown that knowledge of shared genes shapes perception of social interactions, thus demonstrating how neuroimaging can offer important measures for social sciences that complement the traditional behavioral ones. Furter, more idiosyncratic brain activity has been observed in high-functioning autistic than neurotypical subjects specifically in putative social brain regions when watching a drama movie. Development of data analysis algorithms holds keys to rapid advances in this relatively new area of research. Modeling the stimulus and recording brain activity is significantly complemented by behavioral measures on how the subjects experienced the movie stimulus.
Image: Jelena Rosic and Ilkka Kosunen engaged in discussing correlations between ‘pheno’-dynamics and ‘neuro’-dynamics for our micro-phenomenological Memento study, a follow-up for Kauttonen et al 2018.
Dr Robin L. Zebrowski, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science and the Chair of Cognitive Science Program at Beloit College, WI, USA invited by Associate Professor of General Psychology Kristjan Kask at the School of Natural Sciences and Health,TLU.
An intellectual aftermath inspired by Robin’s talk at the MEDIT’s meeting space, BFM, (from right) PhD student Jelena Rosic, professor Robin Zebrowski, senior researcher Ilkka Kosunen, associated senior researcher Mauri Kaipainen, professor Kristjan Kask and professor Pia Tikka.
Presence and Telepresence: Bodily Experience With and Through Technology“
What does it mean to be present somewhere? In this talk, I’ll explore this question by looking at telepresence technologies and ways of extending our reach across wide distances, while also critically examining what we mean by “the body” that gets extended. We’ll look at what phenomenologists have called “intercorporeality” – the felt experience of being present with other beings like us, and we’ll look at how this interacts with our experience of telepresence technologies, including virtual reality, telerobotics, and EEG-type prosthetics.
Robin L. Zebrowski is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science in Beloit College, Wisconsin (USA). She has a PhD in philosophy from University of Oregon. Prof. Zebrowski is interested in her research in embodiment, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. Prof. Zebrowski is coming to Tallinn University as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar.
Additional information: Kristjan Kask email@example.com
Here Robin’s webpage https://www.beloit.edu/philosophy/faculty/zebrowski/
Department of Digital Learning Games, professor Martin Sillaots organised a visit hosted by Professor Anneli Kolk (image) and her team at the Department of Paediatrics at the Tartu University Hospital. Among other things they focus on developing the social perception and cognitive abilities of children with neurological damage, using touch screen and VR technologies.
12:30 – 13:00 Anneli Kolk, Marianne Saard et al – Welcome and Visit to training lab
13:10 – 13:20 Liina Reinart (image below)- Modern Experimental Training of Socio-Cognitive Deficit in Children with Acquired Brain Injury
13:20 – 13:30 Anneli Kolk – Interactive Virtual Reality Metaphors for Social Deficit and Anxiety Remediation
13:30 – 13:40 Kirsi Sepp – Cooperation and development plans
14:10 – 14:30 Summary
The Brain on the Screen
Invited talk on “Narrative Sense-Making – A Neurocinematic Approach” at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPI), Frankfurt am Main, March 26, 2019.
Presentation at the Cinema of the Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Brain on the Screen public series of 4 introductory talks: Ed Vessel, Vittorio Gallese, Marie Therese Forster, and Pia Tikka.
Run Lola Run (German: Lola rennt) is a 1998 German thriller film written and directed by Tom Tykwer, and starring Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni. The story follows a woman who needs to obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in twenty minutes to save her boyfriend’s life.
The Brain on Screen
Vier Filme – Vier Vorträge – Ein Akteur: Das menschliche Gehirn
Was passiert in unserem Gehirn, wenn wir Filme schauen? Wie verarbeitet das menschliche Gehirn Filme – und warum ist das Sehen von Filmen genussvoll? Können Filme und das Filmpublikum überhaupt interessante Objekte der neurowissenschaftlichen Forschung sein?
Diese und weitere Fragen stehen im Zentrum der Film- und Vortragsreihe „The Brain on Screen“, die das Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik gemeinsam mit dem Deutschen Filminstitut & Filmmuseum im März 2019 veranstaltet. An vier Dienstagen (5., 12., 19. und 26.03.2019) werden vier Experten jeweils eine Einführung in vier Filme geben, die aus neurowissenschaftlicher Perspektive interessant sind.
Während der anschließenden Filmvorführung hat das Publikum die Gelegenheit, hautnah mitzuerleben, wie neurowissenschaftliche Forschung zum Filmerleben aussehen kann. Wer möchte, kann Teilnehmer in einer den Film begleitenden Studie werden.
„The Brain on Screen“ bietet einen wissenschaftlichen und praktischen Einblick in ein spannendes Forschungsfeld und verwandelt das Gehirn selbst in einen Akteur.
Wenn Sie Interesse haben teilzunehmen, können Sie sich hier anmelden.
Enactive Virtuality – Conceptualizing the dynamics of narrative cognition
Date: 21 March, 2019
Time: 4:30 – 5:45 pm
Venue: AAB 905, Academic and Adminstration Building, Baptist University Road Campus, Hong Kong Baptist University, March 21, 2019.
I will introduce my concept of enactive virtuality, associated with the idea of narratives as fundamental constructs of human mind. Inspired by the approach to enactive mind by Fransisco Varela and colleagues, the concept of enactive virtuality describes the experiencing mind as a dynamical system of body, brain, and the world. The epistemic triangulation is suggested as a means of translating the concept to practice.
While audiovisual narratives have been shown to elicit very similar physiological responses in different viewers, however, individual life experiences define how the story is interpreted by each. The approach of triadic epistemology, a combination of methods from arts, social sciences, and psychophysiology allows generating integrated knowledge about how different viewers experience particular narratives. The method builds on the fundamentally pragmatist idea that no two domains of knowledge are enough to explain each other, but a third is always required to provide the interpretative angle. Therefore, understanding narrative content needs to be analyzed not only based on subjective reports of the viewers, because that is not anchored to any overall understanding, but they also need to be related to a neurophysiological repertoire of experiences. Similarly, being able to describe the neural activity data collected during the viewing of a film, it is not enough to relate it only to subjective reports of the viewers, but the observations also need to be interpreted to conventions of narrative dramaturgy and filmmaking. A selection of cases are described to clarify the concept of enactive virtuality and the proposed triadic method.
And a great aftermath of the Talk at the HKBU campus Cafe with Roger Carcia, Chianly Sze, Samantha Goh, Mette Hjort, and Eugene Birman.
Enactive Virtuality Lab presented the collaborative research with the Brain and Mind Lab of the Aalto School of Science at the Worlding the Brain Conference in Aarhus University, Nov 27-29.
Image: The son (Juha Hippi) confronting his father (Vesa Wallgren). Short film The Queen (Kuningatar) is directed by Pia Tikka, Production Aalto University in collaboration with Oblomovies Oy 2013.
TITLE: Narrative priming of moral judgments in film viewing
Authors: Pia Tikka, Jenni Hannukainen, Tommi Himberg, and Mikko Sams
How does narrative priming influence the moral judgements of the film viewers? In two studies we focus on the evaluation of the rightness of the perceived action of the characters and the acceptability of these actions, in relation to the viewers experience of sympathy and filmic tension.
Providing additional narrative information beforehand for the viewers is an effective method to manipulate how they perceive and make sense of the film narrative. Our experiment data is collected from two different studies, behavioral and psychophysiological. In both experimental settings two groups receive additional background information of either the male or the female character, while the third controls are not primed. All subjects view the same 25 minute long drama film and reply to post questionnaires online.
Based on the collected data in the first experiment using parallel mixed method analysis we showed that the narrative priming itself does not increase the spectrum of the moral judgment statements and the acceptance of the wrong-doings by the characters but more influential factor seems to be the type of the action and its relation to the generally accepted moral norms. Yet, the narrative priming increased the explanatory spectrum of the subjects, which showed to some extent the trend for accepting or trying to understand actions that embody socio-emotionally complex situations. In the second currently on-going psychophysiological study (HR, EDA; EEG) we expect the explanatory spectrum collected via online questionnaires to correlate with the results of the first behavioral study. However, we also expect to show more priming dependent and spatio-temporal film-event dependent differences in arousal between all groups, indicating the influence of priming to the unconscious emotional and cognitive processes related to moral judgements