Towards empathic neurofeedback for interactive storytelling

Marc Cavazza, Gabor Aranyi, Fred Charles, Julie Porteous, Stephen Gilroy, Ilana Klovatch, Gilan Jackont, Eyal Soreq, Nimrod Jakob Keynan, Avihay Cohen, Gal Raz, Talma Hendler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Interactive Narrative is a form of digital entertainment based on AI techniques which support narrative generation and user interaction. Despite recent progress in the field, there is still a lack of unified models integrating narrative generation, user response and interaction. This paper addresses this issue by revisiting existing Interactive Narrative paradigms, granting explicit status to users' disposition towards story characters. We introduce a novel Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) design, which attempts to capture empathy for the main character in a way that is compatible with filmic theories of emotion. Results from two experimental studies with a fully-implemented system demonstrate the effectiveness of a neurofeedback-based approach, showing that subjects can successfully modulate their emotional support for a character who is confronted with challenging situations. A preliminary fMRI analysis also shows activation during user interaction, in regions of the brain associated with emotional control.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative, CMN 2014
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783939897712
StatePublished - 2014
Event5th Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative, CMN 2014 - Quebec City, QC, Canada
Duration: 31 Jul 20142 Aug 2014

Publication series

NameOpenAccess Series in Informatics
ISSN (Print)2190-6807


Conference5th Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative, CMN 2014
CityQuebec City, QC


  • Affective computing
  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • Interactive narrative
  • Neurofeedback


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