Zioga P (2019) From Neurocinematics to Live Brain-Computer Cinema: Audience Research, Co-Authorship and Film Form. ECREA Film Studies Section conference ‘Research Methods in Film Studies: Challenges and Opportunities’, Ghent, Belgium, 18.10.2019-19.10.2019. https://ecreafilmstudies2019.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/programme-web.pdf
The beginning of the 21st century saw the emergence of neurocinematics, the neuroscience of film, as a new interdisciplinary field that investigates the effect of free viewing of films on the spectators’ brain-activity, searching for similarities in their spatiotemporal responses. This new methodological approach has opened new opportunities for audience research and has provided us with insight on the level of control that aspects of the film language, such as the narrative and the editing, can have over the viewer’s brain states. At the same time, the proliferation of new brain-imaging techniques and technologies, such as the Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs), that enable the interaction, individually or collectively, of the brain of audiences and/or performers with the moving image, has led to the production of interactive videos, films and works of live cinema. A growing number of researchers and filmmakers use these interfaces, not only as creative and storytelling tools, but also as methods of conducting neuroscientific audience research in real-life settings. In this context, this paper presents a review and methodological analysis of relevant studies, following categorisations that are crucial for the interpretation of the results obtained, such as the brain-imaging techniques applied, the environment of the study, the number, type and role of the participants (audience versus performers), and the film form among others. The paper also focuses on how the use of BCIs is changing previous conventions, including discourses of authorship/co-authorship, mise-en-scène and editing, and the reinvention of the film language as embodiment of the audience’s cognitive state. Lastly, a way forward is proposed by looking at the potential of live brain-computer cinema as a new film form that combines live cinema, neurocinematics and the use of BCIs for studying and enabling collective audience interactions in a cinema theatre environment.
Audience Research, Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), Co-Authorship, Film Form, Film Language, Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance, Live Cinema, Neurocinematics