Balraj Rathod

Enactive Cinema

Imagine you enter a museum. As you step inside, a holographic virtual avatar welcomes you. The avatar reads through your expressions and understands that you are sad. Promptly, the holographic character suggests you artworks to check out in the gallery that may make you happy.

The ground work of the ‘Enactive Avatar’ concept developed by Dr. Pia Tikka, started with an attempt to understand the narrative comprehension by a viewer engaged in watching or listening to a drama. In retrospect, the avatar is responsive to the viewer’s real time psychophysiological reactions.

This aim led to the design of an experiment in which two individuals are facing each other and listening to an audio drama. While they are engaged in the drama narrative their facial expressions, heart pulse, respiration rate, skin conductivity, face temperature, and brain wave data is recorded in synchrony from both the individuals.

“The study of non-verbal interactions and modified sensory perception-action loop during narrative comprehension for 1-person vs 2-person environments.”

Research Project: May 2015 - July 2015

Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Helsinki, Finland

Research Assistant

Experiment Design

Dr. Pia Tikka, Filmmaker. (NeuroCine Research Group)
Dr. Jaakko Kauramaki, Neuroscience Scholar.