CTN Seminar- 28th Oct- Brendan Rooney (UCD)

The Creative Technology Network hosts a number of monthly seminars on topics related to human-computer interaction, interaction design and multimedia design.

Our  2016/17 programme starts with Dr Brendan Rooney talking about  Attention and emotion in reading the minds of fictional characters, avatars and “real” people.  The seminar will take place on Friday 28th October at D107 in the Newman Building at UCD. Further details of the event are below. For more information on the network and the seminar series visit http://creativetechnologiesnetwork.com

Speaker: Dr Brendan Rooney (University College Dublin, School of Psychology)
D107- Newman Building, University College Dublin
Date & Time:
Friday 28th October, 11-11:50am

Title: Attention and emotion in reading the minds of fictional characters, avatars and “real” people.
Abstract: Recognising and understanding mental states (of others and of the self) is arguably the most important process to human social functioning (Tomasello, 2001). Much of our engagement with entertainment media and information technology includes or centres on our ability to engage with social aspects of fictional characters, avatars or “real” mediated behaviours. Recently, findings have shown that various cultural practices, such as engagement with narrative fiction, effectively elicit mind reading (Theory of Mind), guide people toward social cognition and foster sensitivity to others (Kidd and Castano 2013, 2016, Bormann and Greitemeyer, 2015, Black and Barnes, 2015). In this talk, I will briefly introduce a theoretical model of how attention is central to our engagement with media entertainment, and discuss my some of my current work exploring how (formal and content) features of media can direct attention so as to elicit viewer mind reading.

Speaker Bio: Brendan Rooney joined the UCD School of Psychology last year, teaching on the undergraduate and postgraduate research methods and statistics modules. He previously lectured in the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, the National College of Art and Design, and the National Film School. Brendan’s research interests include the interaction between cognition and emotion in the context of media entertainment, technology and virtual worlds. He is particularly interested in how media ‘realism’ interacts with emotion and social cognition related to fictional characters. Through his research and teaching he has worked as part of a number of interdisciplinary and international research teams, with creative and entertainment industry experts (such as animators, filmmakers, and designers), philosophers, computer scientists, film and humanities scholars. Brendan founded and chaired the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Special Interest Group for Media, Art and Cyberpsychology.

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