Think aloud during fMRI: Neuronal correlates of subjective experience in video games

Martin Klasen, Mikhail Zvyagintsev, René Weber, Krystyna A. Mathiak, Klaus Mathiak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Experience of computer games can be assessed indirectly by measuring physiological responses and relating the pattern to assumed emotional states or directly by introspection of the player. We combine both approaches by measuring brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during Think Aloud (TA). TA assesses subjects' thoughts and feelings during the game play. The comments and playing behavior were recorded while the brain scans were performed, content of game and TA was analyzed, and related to the brain activation. The fMRI data illustrated that brain activation can be matched to behavioral and experiential content. One category (focus) was associated with increased visual activity and its displeasurable experience with preparatory motor activity. We argue that the combination of subjective introspective with neurophysiological data can 1) reveal meaningful neural mechanisms and 2) validate the introspective method.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFun and Games - Second International Conference, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)3540883215, 9783540883210
StatePublished - 2008
Event2nd International Conference on Fun and Games - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Oct 200821 Oct 2008

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume5294 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference2nd International Conference on Fun and Games


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