Poster C5, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Engaging narratives evoke similar brainwaves and lead to similar perception of time
Samantha Cohen1, Simon Henin2, Lucas C. Parra2; 1The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 2The City College of the City University of New York
Films are often characterized as “engaging”, reflecting their ability to attract an audience. But what precisely does it mean for an audience to be engaged? Here we provide an objective behavioral definition: An audience is engaged to the extent that it is willing to commit scarce resources, such as time. To quantify this, 1000 subjects were recruited online within one hour to watch short videos under time pressure, thus revealing preferential time commitment. This experimentally measured engagement reproduced the natural behavior of millions of YouTube viewers, and was predicted by the brainwaves of 20 individuals recorded in the laboratory during video presentation. The neural predictive metric, inter-subject correlation of evoked responses, was also representative of subjective time perception. More correlated brains perceived time durations more uniformly. These findings suggest that the similarity of neural processing reflects behavioral engagement, and leads to a similar perception of time.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Other