Towards Empathic Neurofeedback for Interactive Storytelling

Authors 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

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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

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Marc Cavazza, Gabor Aranyi, Fred Charles, Julie Porteous, Stephen Gilroy, Ilana Klovatch, Gilan Jackont, Eyal Soreq, Nimrod Jakob Keynan, Avihay Cohen, Gal Raz, and Talma Hendler. Towards Empathic Neurofeedback for Interactive Storytelling. In 2014 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 41, pp. 42-60, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)


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.
  • brain-computer interfaces
  • neurofeedback
  • interactive narrative
  • affective computing


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