Enactive cinema paves way for understanding complex real-time social interaction in neuroimaging experiments

Pia Tikka, Aleksander Väljamäe, Aline de Borst, Roberto Pugliese, Niklas Ravaja, Mauri Kaipainen, Tapio Takala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
159 Downloads (Pure)


We outline general theoretical and practical implications of what we promote as enactive cinema for the neuroscientific study of online socio-emotional interaction. In a real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rt-fMRI) setting, participants are immersed in cinematic experiences that simulate social situations. While viewing, their physiological reactions—including brain responses—are tracked, representing implicit and unconscious experiences of the on-going social situations. These reactions, in turn, are analyzed in real-time and fed back to modify the cinematic sequences they are viewing while being scanned. Due to the engaging cinematic content, the proposed setting focuses on living-by in terms of shared psycho-physiological epiphenomena of experience rather than active coping in terms of goal-oriented motor actions. It constitutes a means to parametrically modify stimuli that depict social situations and their broader environmental contexts. As an alternative to studying the variation of brain responses as a function of a priori fixed stimuli, this method can be applied to survey the range of stimuli that evoke similar responses across participants at particular brain regions of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Article number298
Pages (from-to)1-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • enactive cinema
  • real-time fMRI
  • neurofeedback
  • social neuroscience
  • generative storytelling
  • implicit interaction
  • Brain Computer Interfaces

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