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Ira Konigsberg

Film theory has been much involved with psychology, especially with the viewer's perceptual and emotional response to the images on the screen. Psychoanalytic and cognitive film theories, though not exactly kindred spirits, have so far dominated psychological film studies. At the present time, technology offers neuroscience methods to explore the brain that open up the discourse on the mind. This article explains ways in which neuroscience, and its study of the brain, can extend our understanding and theory of film by exploring three areas of our response to cinema. Although the perception of motion is a complicated business, the phenomenon of implied motion suggests the brain's readiness to find movement even when there is none and links together many of the same perceptual mechanisms we use when viewing film and also the world outside the theater. Attention, focus, and binding are essential for us to make sense of the vast amount of stimuli that bombard our eyes. They explain what we see and do not see when viewing film and also the way film technique controls our understanding of the action on the screen. Finally, the argument about what we feel and do not feel when watching the characters on the screen may receive some clarification by neuroscience's investigation of "mirror neurons" in our brain.

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Ira Konigsberg

We have a new sponsor. The Society for the Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) joins our other sponsor, the Forum for Movies and Mind (FMM), in supporting the journal’ s goal of investigating the ways in which film opens up the exploration of the mind and the ways in which studies of the mind deepen our understanding of film. (See pages 141–142 to learn more about our sponsors.) We continue to be both focused and eclectic; a term we have used for ourselves before is “parallactic”—we study the subject from a variety of points of view to achieve a fuller vision and understanding. Having SCSMI aboard enriches our journal. The organization has an excellent and renowned group of scholars, and the cognitive study of film is already influencing our understanding of film and mind profoundly.

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Ira Konigsberg

We celebrate the Society of the Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image’s new sponsorship of Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind with a special issue devoted to writing from cognitive and affiliated approaches. We invite our readers from various disciplines to take a look and further open their minds to this type of film studies. The readers will immediately find how accessible and reasonable these articles are. They will also find how cognitive film studies is itself interdisciplinary and willing to integrate what is compatible and useful.

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Ira Konigsberg

Well, here we are, starting our fifth year of publication and things seem to be going smoothly enough. Ever developing (we are never satisfied), we bring you something new with this issue, an approach that might further our understanding of cinema and the way it affects us as viewers. The field is “cinemetrics” and though some form of it has been around since the 1970s, the field has taken off especially with the start of the cinemetrics website in 2005.

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Ira Konigsberg

As Projections completes its fifth year, I offer a timely summary of the journal’s origins, history, and its goals up until the present time. Such a discussion also seems appropriate because this issue is the last to be guided by the present editor. Five years ago we had a good idea. A remarkable transition was taking place in our culture. Although the most influential ideas during much of the last century seemed to be coming from the humanities and social sciences, much of our intellectual life was now shifting to the sciences—so much of our thinking, of our Weltanschauung was now being shaped by the remarkable insights that were coming from psychologists, neuroscientists, biologists, evolutionists. A number of us were interested in the relationship between film and mind—to understand film one had to understand the mind, the brain, the consciousness that perceived and processed the images and sound, and the minds that created them; and if film was the most cerebral of the art forms, it was the one that could most benefit from the new insights about the mind that were coming out of the sciences and the one most useful in extending our knowledge of these disciplines. We wanted to see if it were possible to bring together the humanities and sciences in a single journal to better understand what had become the world’s major art form.