About Tommi Himberg

My name is Tommi Himberg and I work as a researcher at the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at the Aalto University. My research is focused on interpersonal social interaction, entrainment and synchronisation. I am studying in vivo interaction in dyads and in groups. I was the principal investigator in the research project “Social eMotions“, which combined contemporary dance and movement science. Currently (2017) my work is related to social neuroscience, and various behavioural explorations of interpersonal and intersubjective processes. I collaborate with the ICI-project in Paris, France. Music cognition, musical interaction and music & movement are of my special interest. Before coming to Aalto, I was a university teacher at the Music Department of the University of Jyväskylä, where I taught a number of courses from research methodology to cognitive musicology, and did research at the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research.

Brain Twitter Conference #brainTC

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We are organising the first Twitter conference in neuroscience on the 20th of April! We are very excited about this; it felt like a fun idea, and now as we are putting the event together, we start to see more concretely how cool this event will be! Brain Twitter Conference #brainTC is a “normal” scientific conference, but organised in Twitter, instead of a university lecture hall, a hotel, or an exhibition centre.  Continue reading

Social eMotions Stoassa 24. ja 25. helmikuuta!

To dancers and a cello

Kaksivuotinen tutkimusmatkamme sosiaalisten tunteiden maailmaan on tulossa päätökseen. Projektin huipentumaksi luotu tanssiteos esitettiin viime syksynä Oulussa, ja tällä viikolla se esitetään kaksi kertaa Helsingissä, kulttuurikeskus Stoassa.

Tämä on ensimmäinen kerta, kun esitämme teoksen kunnon teatteritilassa–Oulun esityksemmehän oli Rotuaarilla ulkoilmanäyttämöllä. Stoan black box antaa nyt teokselle kunnolliset puitteet: Jarkon ja Johannan tanssi saa näyttämöllä selkeät kehykset, Ullan ja Iidan musiikki soi tilassa ja ympäröi katsojat, ja iltapäivän aurinko ei tällä kertaa pese Roberton projisointeja näkymättömiin.

Teos on siis duetto kahdelle tanssijalle, kahdelle sellistille ja yhdelle tutkijalle. Teoksessa yleisö pääsee äänestämään koreografian ja musiikin tunteellisen sisällön mobiilisovelluksen kautta. Näin yleisö voi halutessaan asettautua tunnetutkijan rooliin ja nähdä, miten tunteita ilmaistaan ja miten ne tarttuvat ja muuttuvat. Esityksen jälkeisessä yleisökeskustelussa voimme keskustella taiteellista ja tieteellistä otetta yhdistäneestä tutkimuksestamme enemmänkin.

Social eMotions -tanssiteoksen esitykset siis pe 24.2. ja la 25.2. klo 19:00 Kulttuurikeskus Stoassa. Kahden teoksen illassa nähdään myös Johanna Nuutisen hieno sooloteos Hatched.

Esityksiin saa lippuja ovelta sekä Lippupisteestä.

Arts-based research II – reflections

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Yesterday I posted my initial thoughts on arts-based research, the topic of today’s panel discussion. Here are my brief mental notes from the morning’s event–they are a mixed bag since I wasn’t taking notes.
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Arts-based research

uwasThere’s a great initiative in Aalto University, called UWAS, or University-Wide Arts Studies. The aim of UWAS is to “offer access to arts-based thinking” to all students at Aalto. UWAS is organising a two-day seminar called U-Create, and I was invited to take part in a panel discussion on “arts-based research”. The panel takes place at 10:45–12:00 on Wednesday 2nd November, and you can watch the livestream or the recording here.

We were sent some initial questions for the panel (which , when I’m writing this, is tomorrow). So, spoiler alert, here’s what I’ll answer!

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Social eMotions – the performance

social emotions in Planet SuvilahtiOur Social eMotions project combines science and art, also in that the outcomes are both scientific and artistic. The science part is taking shape, we are writing up a paper on the kinematic analysis, as well as the perceptual experiments. At the same time, the artistic oven has been red hot, as the dance performance has been taking shape.

Our amazing dancers and musicians worked very hard during the first weeks of June to put together this ambitious and novel performance. There is choreographed movement and composed musical material, but the performance is improvised in the sense that the emotional dynamics and emotional contagion will change and mutate the materials. There is a very interesting set of interactions going on, as both dancers influence each other, as do both cellists, and of course the dancers are influenced by the music, and vice versa.

To keep things even more open, the audience will get to vote for the emotions that the performers work on. The audience gets this chance a few times during the performance, and as the full cycle will be performed twice, they can make different choices and thus experiment on emotional processes, using live dancers and musicians!

We already trialled this in an open rehearsal during the Helsinki Day, as a part of “Planet Suvilahti“. As the pic shows, there were a lot of people attending, and we got really nice feedback! Communicating the results of the online vote to performers was done in an old-fashioned way by showing the emotions on pieces of paper. By the actual performance, we’ll figure out a smoother way of doing it, hopefully integrating them to the interactive projections.

There is now also a trailer of the performance, it can be viewed below. The next public showcase of the work will be presented in Duesseldorf during the Tanzmesse on 2nd September, and the premiere will take place in Oulu on the final day of the OuDance Festival (Sunday 18th September). That performance will (weather permitting) be outdoors on the Rotuaari promenade. See you there?

Social eMotions trailer from Jarkko Lehmus on Vimeo.

 

 

ICMPC14: Dyadic improvisation and mirroring of finger movements

As I unfortunately (or, as the reason is a newborn baby in the family, fortunately) were not able to attend the ICMPC14, I decided to summarise our study (co-authored with Maija Niinisalo and Riitta Hari, a poster was supposed to appear at the Music & Movement 3 session on Thursday, 4:00 pm, Seacliff A-C, Th23) on dyadic improvisation in this blog post. The blog post format allows me to use videos etc. to illustrate the tasks and the data better than a static poster would, and also lets me write a bit more about it than would fit in a poster. If you have any questions, drop me an email. We are currently writing this up as a journal article, so you’ll get the whole story soon, I hope.

Dyadic improvisation and mirroring of finger movements

Summary

We studied kinematics and coordination in a mirror game using fluent, improvised movements (circle drawing & free movement). 32 participants took part in dyads. In turn, one of the participants was appointed the leader, or the dyad was instructed to share leadership. Hand movements were recorded with optical motion capture.

Compared to the leader–follower condition, sharing leadership resulted in more synchronous circles, smoother free movements, and stronger mutual adaptation.

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