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Brain science and film theory: Reassessing the place of cognitive discontinuity in cinema

Poulaki, M (2015) Brain science and film theory: Reassessing the place of cognitive discontinuity in cinema Projections (New York): the journal for movies and mind.

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The connection between film elements and brain responses has been suggested by a number of neurocognitive studies. The studies of event segmentation by Zacks et al in particular support that film editing conditions cognitive responses. After discussing the findings of these studies I will draw on Münsterberg’s and Arnheim’s classical cognitive approaches to film as well as from poststructuralist film theory to argue that the event segmentation approach still falls short of accounting for the impact of non-continuous film stimuli on the brain’s event segmentation, while it shares with other neurocognitive film research the tendency to naturalize narrative and continuity editing. Finally, it is suggested that by approaching the findings of event segmentation studies from the perspective of complex systems neuroscience, new hypotheses can be drawn on how non-continuous and complex film stimuli condition our brains by mediating (enabling or disrupting) event segmentation and cognitive patterning.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages
Authors :
Date : 1 June 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords : film, event segmentation, continuity editing, complexity, pattern, discontinuity, brain, systems neuroscience
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:33
Last Modified : 07 Mar 2019 11:27

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