aivoAALTO-projekti hyödyntää Aalto-yliopiston kolmen korkeakoulun erityisosaamista

Aalto-yliopiston monitieteinen aivoAALTO-tutkimusprojekti käynnistyi keväällä 2009 heijastaen yliopiston eri korkeakoulujen kiinteätä yhteistyötä. Perustieteiden korkeakoulun aivokuvantaminen ja aivotutkimuksen laskennallisten menetelmien kehitystyö kohtaavat Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulun elokuvaosaamisen sekä Kauppakorkeakoulun taloudellisen päätöksenteon tutkimusmenetelmät. Aivotutkimuksen suuntautuessa kohti ihmisten välisen vuorovaikutuksen tutkimista mahdollisimman luonnollisessa ympäristössä elokuva antaa mahdollisuuden luonnollisempaan, mutta samalla hallittuun ärsykemateriaaliin. Neurotaloustieteessä taas tutkitaan taloudellisen päätöksenteon aivomekanismeja yhdistämällä tietämystä aivokuvantamisesta ja taloustieteestä.

aivoAALTO - a key project combining the expertise of three Schools of Aalto University

The aivoAALTO ('brainWAVE') research project of Aalto University combines the expertise of three Aalto Schools to understand brain basis of social interaction, decision-making and behavior in naturalistic experimental settings, such as cinema viewing. The project is based on the long-term expertise of the School of Science in human neuroimaging and systems neuroscience, combined with the expertise of film making of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture (neurocinematics) and the research on financial decision-making of the School of Economics (neuroeconomics).


aivoAALTO started in spring 2009 as a result of a call opened to researchers and research groups of Aalto University in order to collect proposals for research projects combining the expertise of the three schools. The aivoAALTO project has become the key project showcasing the new expertise of Aalto University.


The Aalto University School of Science has particular expertise in the research of the human brain, in modern neuroimaging and in the intimately connected methodological development, which is done in cooperation with three associated Centres of Excellence in Research (those in Systems neuroscience and neuroimaging, Computational complex systems, and Adaptive informatics). New methods are essential for the research of genuine human interaction. The School of Science is involved in the project through the following units: the Brain Research Unit of the O.V. Lounasmaa Laboratory (Academician Riitta Hari) BECS, (Prof. Mikko Sams) the Department of Media Technology (Prof. Tapio Takala), the Systems Analysis Laboratory, (Prof. Raimo P. Hämäläinen), the Enterprise Simulation Laboratory SimLab (Prof. Riitta Smeds), and the Adaptive Informatics Research Centre (Prof. Samuel Kaski).


The Aalto University School of Economics has special expertise in choice behavior and financial decision-making. Neuroeconomic experiments study the neural basis of decision-making by using, for instance, games familiar from game theory as easily controllable models of decision-making. Brain activation in game situations sheds light on the relationship between reason and emotions and deepens our understanding of the decision-making process. The School of Economics is represented by the Department of Economics (DSSc Marja-Liisa Halko and PhD Topi Miettinen) and Department of Accounting and Finance (Prof. Markku Kaustia), and the Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research, CKIR (Prof. Niklas Ravaja) in the project.


The interface of Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecure and the brain researchers involved is cinema, a life-like controllable environment to study socio-emotional interaction between people. Films both stimulate and simulate the human mind. Cinema, particularly the new research area, ‘neurocinematics’, allows us to deepen our knowledge of the similarities and differences in the personal experience of one’s world. To accomplish this, researchers compare film-induced changes in the brain activity of spectators. The School of Art, Design and Architecture, the Department of Motion Picture, Television and Production Design is represented by prof. in screenwriting Jukka Vieno and by cinematographer-filmmaker Pia Tikka, PhD and PI of research group NeuroCine.