Social eMotions update

Sample animation

It’s been a busy beginning of the year in the Social eMotions research project. We’ve been working on a number of things, so I thought it would be nice to have an update on where we are, including introductions of new members in our project team!

On the scientific side, the main theme has been perceptual experiments. We’ve been running experiments showing people animated clips such as the GIF above, and asking them to rate the dancers movements and their relationship along various scales. We are currently analysing data, and have just started to write up our movement analysis paper, so there’ll be published results soon.

On the artistic side, we are working full steam toward the première in Oulu in September. Jarkko and Johanna have been working on the movement material, and we now have also a composer and two musicians working on the music for the show! Jussi Lampela will compose music for the piece, and it will be performed live by two cellists, Iida-Vilhelmiina Laine and Ulla Lampela. We are very excited to have these stars join our team!

As the final performance starts to take shape, its key aspects are being planned and put to their places one by one. We are working on ways to let the audience influence the performance as it happens, and on ways to include the scientific results in it. For the latter purpose, we are getting help from Dr Roberto Pugliese in visualisations and projections. We visited Roberto’s studio yesterday and Jarkko took this snapshot of us dancing and Roberto’s system capturing it on Kinect and producing a live visualisation on screen.

This will (continue to) be great!

2015 in review

Well here’s a recurring new year’s resolution: blog more actively.😀

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Mielimusiikki ja riskinotto

Halko & Kaustila 2015

Riskin hyväksyntä riskin suuruuden funktiona, mielimusiikin ja inhokkimusiikin kuuluessa taustalla (Halko & Kaustila, 2015)

YLE Tiede julkaisi tänään jutun tutkimuksesta, jonka mukaan mielimusiikin kuunteleminen lisää taloudellista riskinottoa. Atso Almila kysäisi Twitterissä, miksi tällaista tutkimusta tehdään, ja lupasin tähän vastata. Koska juttu ei mahdu helposti Twitterin 140 merkkiin, kirjoitan muutamat päällimmäiset ajatukset tänne torkkuvan blogini puolelle.

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Brain-to-brain interface – but what is being transmitted?

High-tech tinfoil hat

There’s a cool new paper on brain-to-brain interfaces, and I’m sure it will be misinterpreted in the media, just like every other paper of this genre.:)

There have been a couple of demonstrations of brain-to-brain interfaces before, and I’ve written about one of the previous papers in Finnish.  The idea of BBI is that information about one participant’s brain state is read (typically using EEG), and then the brain state of another participant is manipulated, typically using TMS. At least in the press, these demonstrations are often termed as “telepathy” or “mind-reading”, and illustrated by images from Star Trek, X-Men or just people in tinfoil hats. Often the implications of these studies is posed as a question: will we soon be able to communicate with each other directly, without language? Will all our brains be connected together to form a giant common consciousness?

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ABC of MEG

Aalto Brain Centre (ABC) organised yesterday a panel discussion to answer frequently asked questions about magnetoencephalography (MEG), a brain research method that is based on detecting the minute magnetic fields that brain activity generates. The panel was livestreamed, and the stream is now available online, and embedded below.

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Social eMotions @OuDance

Kävimme esittelemässä Koneen säätiön rahoittamaa Social eMotions -projektiamme Oulussa, OuDance-festivaalilla. Kerroimme Jarkko Lehmuksen kanssa projektin tavoitteista ja siitä, mitä olemme tähän mennessä tehneet. Tiivistetysti: tutkimme tunteita kehollisina, sosiaalisina ja dynaamisina ilmiöinä. Videolla Jarkko ja Johanna Nuutinen demonstroivat tutkimusta varten luotua liikemateriaalia, lisäksi näytämme pari liikedata-animaatiota ja kerromme muutenkin projektin etenemisestä. Esittelimme tutkimusta Oulun kulttuuritalo Valven aulassa juuri ennen illan tanssiesityksiä.

Social eMotions @ OuDance from Tommi Himberg on Vimeo.

Rhythm Perception and Production Workshop RPPW2015

Royal Tropical Institute

After 10-year hiatus, I attended the Rhythm Perception and Production Workshop (RPPW), that this time was organised in Amsterdam. Since the last time, this conference series has changed a lot: the range of topics and approaches was huge, spanning from animal rhythmic abilities to gait, from Parkinson’s to language, from music and dance to rowing, with lots of neuroscience papers presented. Continue reading