Media & Entertainment lab Stories
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Media & Entertainment Lab - Stories
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Below is a sample of some of our work in the media and public engagement activities…
Lab director Dr Brendan Rooney talks with @JFLdotCOM about his career and research from the psychology of film and stories to existential questions of the future of VR and media entertainment.
Media is everywhere, but what do we get out of it?
(Spoken word event hosted by Hellobanter, 2018)
Can listening to music help to reduce pain? (RTE Brainstorm)
“Even without the presence of a music therapist, listening to music has been shown to reduce people’s experience of pain. This is not necessarily a quick fix like you might expect with a pharmacological treatment, but music can help you to tolerate pain for longer or experience pain of a greater intensity before you feel it as painful or uncomfortable. This effect is also seen in the neural and biological responses we have to music”
Check our Dr Brendan Rooney’s TEDx talk
Controlling emotions: movies & (virtual) reality
Claire Howlin speaking to Mary Wilson on RTE drivetime about her research on the cognitive mechanisms of music listening interventions and the importance of personal choice.
The Cognitive neuropsychology of making trailers: The role of Emotion.
(in collaboration with the Danish Broadcasting Company, Norsk Film and the Danish Film Institute).
Playing violent video games can make people more aggressive (NewsTalk)
“An Irish psychologist is urging caution around a new study, which claims to show a link between playing violent video games and aggressive behaviour… (Dr) Brendan Rooney from the UCD School of Psychology says the studies they reviewed do not show a direct link between the two.”
Inside the emotions of Inside Out (Irish Examiner )
“There is an idea derived from evolutionary psychology that we need our emotions for survival and that we need them all,” says Brendan Rooney, a specialist in emotional engagement from the UCD School of Psychology. “They each play a role…”
Science Confirms The Obvious: 3-D Movies Aren't All That, Or Thor just wasn't that cool. (Popular Science)
"Psychological theory suggests that immersion is one of a few factors that all work together and support each other," says co-author Brendan Rooney, a psychologist who researches film and emotion…”
Are 3D films more psychologically powerful than 2D? (The BPS Research Digest)
“Rooney and his colleagues explain that skin conductance – that is, the skin’s sweatiness – is influenced only by the sympathetic nervous system (which triggers the fight or flight response) and not by the parasympathetic nervous system (which calms us down). By contrast, heart rate is influenced by both. This suggests to them that the calming parasympathetic nervous system is less active in viewers of 3D. Why? Well, one theory for how we calm our emotions during films is by reminding ourselves that they’re not real.”
Facebook to allow users upload violent videos again (Silicon Republic)
“Dr Brendan Rooney …main specialisation is in video and emotion. In reaction to Facebook’s choice to re-allow such decapitation videos be posted up on its digital platform, he had this to say: "Violence is common on television with shows like Breaking Bad and Love/Hate." In these situations, he said the viewed violence can be entertaining as long as the video is fictional, or the viewer "sees it as fictional", allowing the viewer to regulate their own emotional experience towards the scene. "Real images of violence, however, and even those that are not real but presented as real, are disturbing and upsetting to viewers as they cause a more intense emotional effect that viewers find hard to regulate – ie deal with," Rooney said.
The Twilight Zone: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (Image.ie)
“Dr Rooney identifies two major benefits of using virtual reality technologies: They’re entertaining, sociable and can be good for activities like mindfulness. “Our brain craves escape from boredom and burnout. These sorts of activities, like reading, mindfulness or exercise allow us to reduce the over-thinking and potentially stressful activities that the modern world demands from us”, he said. Secondly, VR and AR have huge potential to innovate education by allowing the user to be transported to a different place and time and offer a glimpse into other societies and cultures. These tech gadgets have also been successfully used to treat anxiety disorders and depression in the past, and now these tech advances are being refined further to offer better treatment options for mental illness’… ”
Enjoy a good scare? Blame evolution and a thirst for exhilaration. (Irish Independent)
“Dr Brendan Rooney of UCD School of Psychology says there are several reasons for the deep-rooted relish we have for being terrified. ”There is a claim or theory that there's an evolutionary advantage to experiencing fear," he said. "What we have learned is that by experiencing things like fear, we are learning in a protected environment how to deal with real situations. Even though we never may have a zombie crashing through the house, we are learning what to do when we are met with fear," he explained.”
Robots: Are they friend or foe? (The Irish Examiner)
“Dr Rooney say it is crucial that the development of robots be completely open and that governments have a role in guiding society through the transition. “I think the area needs to grow out in the open, allowing for public scrutiny, open-access, transparency and peer review,” he says. “This will be a challenge, given the commercial potential of this area and I think it is important that government-funded research and development exploring the psychological impact of engaging with technology is carried out.” In contrast, he also feels there may be a need for a moral code or laws on how we treat robots…”