A Neurocinematic Approach


Photo by SaaraTikka: Photo©3D4Medical.com

Narratives simulate everyday life in its full situational and contextual complexity. In general it is assumed that one’s comprehension of narratives relies on idiosyncratic life-experience, the rich multiplicity of lived-by world events, as argued by the theories of embodied mind. However, recently so-called neurocinematic studies have shown that viewers’ brains tick together when watching same narrative film. Based on findings in naturalistic neuroimaging experiments studies (Hasson et al. 2004, Bartels & Zeki 2004, Jääskeläinen et al. 2008) it can be argued that we humans do share life-experiences to a greater extent than we perhaps are willing to admit. This is referred to as intersubjective correlation. Indeed, films can provide practical starting points for studying how similarly or differently subjects respond to certain complex socio-emotional situations, and further, how human brain responds to complex stories such as films with long duration.

Pia Tikka, PhD, filmmaker-researcher, is director of Crucible Studio at the Department of Media, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Finland. She has directed feature films Daughters of Yemanjá (Brazil-Finland 1996) and Sand Bride (Finland 1998), a participatory film-game The Third Woman, and worked in a range of international productions. Her biosensor-based Enactive Cinema Obsession (2005) gained Möbius Prix Nordic interactive storytelling award. She is n author of book Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense (2008), and publishes widely in the fields of art and science. Previously a key member in the Aalto University’s research projects Enactive Media (2009-2011) and aivoAALTO (2009-2015), currently, her NeuroCine team applies neuroimaging methods to study embodied basis of creative imagination, storytelling, and enactive media.
Pia Tikka is a scholar and filmmaker focused on cinema and the brain. Her research group NeuroCine is associated with the neuroscientific research project aivoAALTO at the Aalto University. Her film production company is Oblomovies Oy.