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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Bridging views in cinema: a review of the art and science of view integration

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Recently, there has been a surge of interest in the relationship between film and cognitive science. This is reflected in a new science of cinema that can help us both to understand this art form, and to produce new insights about cognition and perception. In this review, we begin by describing how the initial development of cinema involved close observation of audience response. This allowed filmmakers to develop an informal theory of visual cognition that helped them to isolate and creatively recombine fundamental elements of visual experience. We review research exploring naturalistic forms of visual perception and cognition that have opened the door to a productive convergence between the dynamic visual art of cinema and science of visual cognition that can enrich both. In particular, we discuss how parallel understandings of view integration in cinema and in cognitive science have been converging to support a new understanding of meaningful visual experience. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1436. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1436 This article is categorized under: Psychology > Attention Psychology > Perception and Psychophysics Neuroscience > Cognition
This eyeline shot in North by Northwest demonstrates two cognitive functions that develop with age and experience. Cary Grant looks off screen in shot (a), and we understand he is looking at the farmland in shot (b). The viewer is prompted to elaborate on Grant's mental state in shot (c).
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Intentional perceptual discontinuities in Michele Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Note that stills 5–8 are enlarged by approximately 50% to highlight changing details.
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The 180 rule, and its interaction with change detection. The 180 rule is often invoked to maintain perceptual continuity when filming reverse‐angle conversations. According to this rule, the camera must stay to one side of the conversing actors, which results in a series of shots in which each actor appears to look off‐screen at the other. When this rule is broken (as in still (b)), the actors appear to be suddenly displaced. In a recent experiment, this displacement induced comparisons between properties in working memory, and the current scene, significantly increasing change detection for the substitution of the actor shirt.
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Conceptual integration in Hitchcock's The Birds. In order to integrate the middle view with the narrative, viewers must consider how the character's fear was conditioned by her recent past (as represented in the left‐hand image which shows her picking up broken cups from a previous horrifying bird attack). This information must be used to project into the future as viewers consider whether she will continue to explore the apparently empty house, or will run away (she eventually does both).
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Example of reverse angles from Ref . Reverse angles can be seen as a special version of a repeated set of eyeline matches in which an actor looks offscreen at another actor who appears to look back at the first actor. These reverse angles are slightly atypical as filmmakers often use views that are not directly perpendicular to each actor and look more into the actor's faces. These are stills from a film in which the actors did not interact. Naïve viewers did not integrate these views. However, when the actors spoke or engaged in an identifiable action, naïve views could correctly integrate the views.
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