Narrative cognition and decision-making in mixed reality systems (WP2)

With the rapid implementation of mixed reality technologies (MRT) in different domains, there is an increase usage of narratives and interactive digital storytelling (IDS) techniques as rhetorical devices for persuasion (e.g. in advertisement, marketing, politics, sustainability, motivational strategies, etc.).  As persuasive elements, stories can influence the decision-making processes and the choices of their audiences. Together with MRT and advanced biometric signals processing, IDS constitutes a powerful tool for investigating human decision-making processes in specific situations. The ESR will investigate key aspects of narrative cognition that may have an implicit influence in decision-making processes when story elements are mediated through MRT with the purpose of advising, prompting or persuading subjects into particular courses of action, choices and decisions. In particular, the ESR will dig into decision-making processes that may be affected by conditions such as (but not limited to) moral dilemmas, paradoxes, causal inferences, emotional involvement, ambiguity, uncertainty and stress. The interdisciplinary methodology will combine tools and techniques from MRT/VR/AR and interactive digital storytelling, a suite of integrated psychophysiological methods (EEG, HR, GSR and eye tracking) and phenomenological-subjective approaches in order to study key cognitive processes and affective states elicited by narrative rhetorical devices in immersive technologies.

Planned secondments: UPISA (two months) to study the application of machine learning techniques to the integration of psychophysiological signals; UPV (two months) to study core cognitive processes in VR/MR interaction; GTEC (two months) for training in sensors systems and biosignal engineering and analysis.

Suman Sarkar


Suman completed his Bachelor of Engineering (B.E. 2005-09) in Electronics and Telecommunication from IIEST, India and Master of Science (M.Sc. 2015-16) in Robotics and Computer Engineering from University of Tartu, Estonia. Before joining to his master degree, he has worked for five years as SAP application developer and SAP consultant in tier one company like IBM in India and in Philippines. Suman is motivated, hard worker and fast learner. As an outcome of which he could complete his two year(120 ECTS) master degree course successfully in one year. Besides, he also cofounded(exited) a Mixed Reality company while studying in Estonia. Before joining to his current position, he was working in Vienna, Austria for two years as a software developer on various AI applications and cloud based distributed multitenant microservice software architecture. He was also providing consultancy and end solutions using various machine learning methods on computer vision and natural language processing with his newly founded AI as a service company. Now he is a PhD fellow in Aalborg University to pursue his strong interest in narrative cognition, mixed reality technology and psychophysiological correlates.




Narrative cognition and decision-making in mixed reality systems (WP2)


  • The ESR will provide new insight on the persuasive and rhetorical effects of narrative structures in human decision-making and cognition in the context of current and future interactive MRT