Chapter 6: Embodied Protonarratives Embedded in Systems of Contexts: A Neurocinematic Approach

How do recent advances in neuroscience allow an explanatory grounding for narrative comprehension based on the embodied mind approach? The chapter discusses the efficiency of cinematic narratives to communicate social situations and how the associated neural processes rely on underlying prototypical, schematic structures. Narratives cannot be fully understood by their protonarratives, as the context in which they are presented changes how they are perceived. This chapter concludes that dynamically evolving narrative perspectives may explain the variation of experiences among viewers of mediated content and contribute to understanding how we interpret cinematic simulations of life situations against socio-cultural contexts.

Pia Tikka is a filmmaker who has directed features Daughters of Yemanjá (Brazil-Finland 1996) and Sand Bride (Finland 1998) and has worked in international film productions. She is the author of Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense (2008), Enactive Cinema project Obses- sion (2005) awarded with Möbius Prix Nordic prize and co-author of the interactive film-game Third Woman, exhibited in the Galapagos Art Space, New York (2011). She is a founding member of the research project Enactive Media (2009–11), Aalto University, Finland. Currently Tikka is affiliated in the research project aivoAALTO. Her NeuroCine-group combines filmmaking practice with the methods of neuroimaging to study the neural basis of cinematic imagination. She earned a doctor of arts degree from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki.

Mauri Kaipainen is professor of media technology at Södertörn University (Sweden). He studied education, musicology, and cognitive science at the University of Helsinki and earned his PhD in 1994 on a computational model of music cognition. His research agenda is built around the concept of interactively explorable multi-perspective media that are based on ontospaces, spatially defined ontologies, associated with content metadata. In addition to interactive and systemic approaches to narrative, the concept has applications in media art, collaborative and community media applications, learning environments, collaborative knowledge management, expert systems, and societal participation.

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