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This page to be updated  - for current team see


Principal investigator


Dr. Pia Tikka, Adjunct Professor of New Narrative Media, is the principal investigator of NeuroCine research project. Currently she holds position as Director in Crucible Studio, Department of Media, Aalto University.

Since 2003, in the field of new narrative media, she has led her research group of Enactive Cinema, and a founding member of the research project Enactive Media (2009-2011), Aalto University Finland. As the inventor of a biosensor-based interactive (enactive) media format, she has been awarded with Möbius Prix Nordic prize of interactive storytelling with her Enactive Cinema project Obsession (2005). The project premiered in the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (Helsinki) 2005 and internationally in ISEA 2006 & Zero One (San Jose, CA). Pia Tikka has authored the book Enactive Cinema: Simulatorium Eisensteinense (2008). She is co-author of interactive film-game Third Woman, which has been shown in Thessaloniki Biennale (2009), Digital Art Weeks in the Great Hall Xian Academy of Fine Arts (2010), and Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, NY (2011).  Pia Tikka is the CEO of production company Oblomovies, Finland. She has written and directed  feature films the Daughters of Yemanjá (Brazil-Finland 1996), Sand Bride (Finland 1998), and the Maiden of Dusk (in development), and gained expertise as a creative team member in a range of international film productions. Currently enactive cinema team is developing an interactive humanlike virtual screen character, Enactive Avatar. See more in


In the field of naturalistic neurosciences, she has acted as a core member of the directory group of neuroscience research project aivoAALTO at the Aalto University (2010-2014). Her research in neurocinematics is focusing on studying the neural basis of storytelling and creative imagination. She has contributed to the neuroeconomics as a member of the advisory board in NeuroService research project at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (2014–2015). She is a Fellow of Life in the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image. Currently, her research team NeuroCine applies neuroimaging methods to study the neural basis of narrative cognition.  See publications at


See Curriculum vitae and more about cinema.



Senior researcher


Yevhen Hlushchuk, PhD, obtained his MD degree in 2000 (Lviv Ukraine; diploma with honors) and his PhD degree in neuroscience 2007 (Brain Research Unit, Aalto University). He has extensive experience in fMRI, knowledge of brain anatomy and function, as well as in programming. 



Post-doctoral researchers 


Janne Kauttonen obtained his Ph.D in theoretical physics in 2012 and has strong background in complex systems using various computational, mathematical, and statistical methods (Kauttonen & Merikoski, 2010, 2012). Kauttonen has an extensive experience in analysis of naturalistic fMRI data. He joined NeuroCine in January 2013 until April 2016. His current post doc position is at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, US.


Aline de Borst, PhD, worked in NeuroCine team Nov 15, 2011 until Nov 2013, focusing on fMRI studies on expert imagery.  Her previous research at Maastricht University include “Exploring the imagery network with time-resolved functional MRI during the mental representation of scenes” (MA thesis) and "Imaging Imagination: A multi-method investigation into the brain dynamics of visual mental imagery" (PhD thesis 2011) supervised by dr. Elia Formisano. Currently Aline works as a postdoctoral researcher in Beatrice de Gelder's lab at the department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Maastricht University.



Doctoral students


Synes Elischka, M.A. studied Media Arts at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Media Art, Prof. Bernhard Leitner and Prof. Erwin Wurm 2002 – 2008. He is also educated as a Lighting Technician at Dopplinger, Vienna (2004) and studied at ENERC and IUNA in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2005 – 2006). Currently he conducts doctoral research on "Immersion in Film: Toward an empiric basis of audience engagement" at the Film, Television and Scenography, Aalto School of ARTS. He has directed an innovative VR 360° cinema shortfilm EgoCure designed for head-mounted displays, and is currently running Virtual Cinema Lab at the Department of Film, Aalto University.

Jelena Rosic, M.A. graduated from the Netherlands Film Academy (Artistic Research in Film) and from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade (Film Editing). She has studied film as mediated form of intersubjectivity. Since 2012, Jelena has been working with NeuroCine (Rosic J. & Tikka P. 2013. Annotation of film content for a neurocinematic analysis: Implications for embodied approaches to filmmaking, SCSMI 2013) . During this time she has also conducted research on Neuroaesthetics of Film at the University of Amsterdam. Her recent editing work, a feature film Humidity, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale 2016). Jelena is currently working on her doctoral thesis Enactive Storytelling with NeuroCine group at the Crucible Studio, Department of Media, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki. She draws from embodied mind approach, enactive cognitive sciences  and neurophenomenology in order to unravel the embodied basis of narrative practice.


Maria Palavamäki, M.A. film editor (2010) worked in NeuroCine team April 2012–June 2013. Her doctoral work focused on the brain functions of film editors in the process of making editing decisions by applying eye-tracking and neuroimaging methods. European Entrepreneurship Video Award 2010 - Entrepreneurship: challenges and rewards 1rd Prize Matti by Maria Palavamäki.



Research assistants


Karita Ojala, M.A. student in cognitive sciences, University of Helsinki since 2010.  A summer student at NeuroCine team May 20 –Aug 30, 2012, part time research assistant Aug 30, 2012-Aug 2014. Currently Karita is conducting studies abroad in the MSc Cognitive Neuroscience programme at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen. She is also an assistant editor in the Proceedings of the Cognitive Neuroscience Master of the Radboud University (CNS journal).


Jarkko Lamminsalo,  M.Sc. (Tech) student in acoustics and audio signal processing, Aalto University. Has also worked in the field of auditory neuroscience at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science as a summer assistant during summer 2013 and 2014. An amateur filmmaker. Joined the team on Nov 1, 2013 and works part-time during his studies. Currently, he is an exchange student in the Technical University of Berlin, Germany (Sept 2014 – ).



Visiting researchers



Amanda Tasse, PhD student in the iMap Media Arts & Practices program at the University of Southern California. She received her MFA degree in Animation and Digital Arts, also from USC, in 2009. Her work investigates the influence of emotion, memory, and attention on visual spatial awareness and the creation of the conscious self.  Her practice is informed by emerging neuropsychological developments within creativity and perception.  She intends to integrate tangible media interfaces into mixed reality spatial narratives. A Fulbright year at NeuroCine team August 20, 2011 – June  1, 2012. See her work here.


Jelena Rosic, M.A. graduated from the Film, Netherlands Film and Television Academy, AHK, University of Applied Sciences (2011-2014). She has studied Faculty of Dramatic Arts, (FDU) University of Belgrade, Department of Film and Television (2006-2010). Jelena joined NeuroCine team for two months Oct 1 – Nov 30, 2012, and since then has continued working part-timely with NeuroCine projects.



Would you like to join NeuroCine team?


We encourage doctoral students and postdocs in film studies or neuroscience to join the team as visiting researchers for shorter periods of time with their own funding. Send us a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a complete list of publications or film work, and 1 page description of your research interests related to neurocinematics. Reprints of publications (max 2) and reference letters (max 2) are appreciated.


Please feel free to direct further questions to:


Pia Tikka, Ph.D.






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