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Last Updated: 26.04.2017

© Polina Zioga 2003-2017
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PhD Project

PhD Ft Research Study at the Digital Design Studio (DDS) of The Glasgow School of Art
Awarded: Global Excellence Initiative Fund PhD Studentship
Supported by: NEON Organization 2014-2015 Grant for Performance Production & MyndPlay

The use of Brain-Computer Interfaces and application development in real-time audio-visual and mixed-media performances

PhD Candidate:
Polina Zioga
(Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art)
Dr. Paul Chapman
(Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art)
Prof. Minhua Eunice Ma (School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Huddersfield)
Prof. Frank Pollick (School of Psychology, University of Glasgow)

Abstract. A Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) is a device that provides the brain with a new non-muscular communication and control channel for sending messages and commands to the external world (Wolpaw et al. 2002). The use of BCIs in performances originates in the 1960s with the work of pioneering artists. However, it is still a rather new and rapidly growing field, since the design and implementation of the specific interfaces presents several difficulties and is dependent on many factors and unknown parameters. Accordingly the use of BCIs in real-time audio-visual and mixed-media performances involves particular neuroscientific and performative challenges, while the knowledge base of this area has not been developed sufficiently. At the same time, the field is changing and is expected to further develop with the dissemination of the new Electroencephalography-based wireless devices. The present practice-led research involves a comprehensive investigation of contemporary artists and their work, in comparison with the current scientific evidence, which reveals the key aspects, issues, and possible directions for future research. Amongst the objectives is the development and evaluation of a new passive multi-brain Electroencephalography-based BCI system, in the context of a live brain-computer cinema performance, which combines ‘live, mediatized representations […] the use of BCIs, and live cinema’ (Zioga et al. 2015).

Keywords: Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), electroencephalography (EEG), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), performance art, real-time, audio-visual, mixed-media, wireless.

Relevant Peer-Reviewed Publications
Zioga, P., Chapman, P., Ma, M. and Pollick, F. 2016. Enheduanna – A Manifesto of Falling: first demonstration of a Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance with multi-brain BCI interaction for one performer and two audience members. Digital Creativity. [Online]. [Accessed: 14 December 2016]. Available at:

Zioga, P., Chapman, P., Ma, M. and Pollick, F. 2015. A Hypothesis of Brain-to-Brain Coupling in Interactive New Media Art and Games Using Brain-Computer Interfaces. In: Göbel, S., Ma, M., Baalsrud Hauge, J., Oliveira, M.F., Wiemeyer, J., Wendel, V. (Eds.) (2015) Serious Games First Joint International Conference, JCSG 2015, Huddersfield, UK, June 3-4, 2015, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science series, LNCS 9090. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Germany: 103-113. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-19126-3_9 Print ISBN: 978-3-319-19125-6 Online ISBN: 978-3-319-19126-3.

Zioga, P., Chapman, P., Ma, M. and Pollick, F. 2014. A Wireless Future: performance art, interaction and the brain-computer interfaces. In: Sa A., Carvalhais M., McLean A. (Eds.) (2015) Proceedings of ICLI 2014 - INTER-FACE: International Conference on Live Interfaces, 19-23 November 2014, Lisbon, Portugal. Porto University, CECL & CESEM (NOVA University), MITPL (University of Sussex): 220-230. ISBN: 978-989-746-060-9.

Relevant Performances
Zioga, P. and Katsinavaki, A. 2015. "Enheduanna – A Manifesto of Falling" Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance. Polina Zioga. dir. CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, UK. First Performance: 29 July 2015.

Relevant Lectures & Talks
Zioga, P. 2016. Art, Science and The Brain: A Personal Perspective. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Exchange Talks Programme, Fyfe Lecture Theatre, 7 November 2016.

Zioga, P. 2016. Is It Art or Is It Science? A Journey Inside the Brain. Glasgow School of Art, BA (Hons) Interaction Design, Barnes Building Lecture Theatre, 23 February 2016.

Zioga, P. 2015. Real-Time Passive Multi-Brain Interaction in "Enheduanna – A Manifesto of Falling" Live Brain-Computer Cinema Performance. University of Glasgow, School of Psychology, Perception Action Cognition Lab, 13 November 2015.

Zioga, P. 2014. The use of brain-computer interfaces and application development in real-time audio-visual performances. Glasgow School of Art, Digital Design Studio, 10 April 2014.

(First published: February 2014, Updated: December 2016)