The Journal for Movies and Mind

Editor: Ted Nannicelli, University of Queensland

Subjects: Film Studies

Published in association with The Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image  


Winner of the 2008 AAP/PSP Prose Award for Best New Journal in the Social Sciences & Humanities!


Projections General Call for Papers


Latest Issue Table of Contents

Volume 17 (2023): Issue 3 (Dec 2023)

Volume 18, Issue 1
Table of Contents

What Can Cognitive Media Studies Bring to Social Justice?
Wyatt Moss-Wellington, Margrethe Bruun Vaage, and Catalin Brylla

Cognition, Stigma, and Inclusivity Roundtable
Tina M. Harris, Robert Lemelson, Annie Tucker, Srividya Ramasubramanian, Omotayo O. Banjo, Mette Hjort, Dan Flory, Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo, and Amy Cook

Reducing Prejudice through Mediated Exposure: The Parasocial Contact Hypothesis
Edward Schiappa

Emotional Tears and Racial Stigma in Orson Welles’s Othello and Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara
Lalita Pandit Hogan

Moving, Thinking, and Representing the Autistic Mind/Body: Disability Representation in Extraordinary Attorney Woo
Kuansong Victor Zhuang, Sze-Hwee Jace Tay, and Gerard Goggin

Understanding Colonialism and Identity Categories by Building on Cognitive and Affective Science: The Case of Biyi Bandele’s Half of a Yellow Sun
Patrick Colm Hogan

Empathic Nuances of Machine-Mediated Asylum-Seeker Narratives: An Empirical Study
Robert G. McNamara and Pia Tikka

Book Reviews

Volume 18 / 2024, 3 issues per volume (spring, summer, winter)

Winner of the 2008 AAP/PSP Prose Award for Best New Journal in the Social Sciences & Humanities!
Read the Press Release | Visit the Prose Awards site

Aims & Scope

Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that explores how the mind experiences, understands, and interprets the audiovisual and narrative structures of cinema and other visual media. Recognizing cinema as an art form, the journal aims to integrate established traditions of analyzing media aesthetics with current research into perception, cognition, and emotion, according to frameworks supplied by philosophy of mind, phenomenology, psychology, and the cognitive-and neurosciences. The journal seeks to facilitate a dialogue between scholars in these disciplines and bring the study of moving image media to the forefront of contemporary intellectual debate.

Submissions are welcomed from a variety of scholarly methods within the humanities and the sciences, from aesthetic to empirical, theoretical, and historical approaches. We especially welcome interdisciplinary approaches that bridge the traditional humanities/sciences division. Accordingly, we invite and consider several forms of submission. Please read the Submit section of this page carefully to ensure that your submission aligns with the particular requirements for each format.


Projections is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Art Abstracts (Ebsco)
  • Art Index (Ebsco)
  • Bibliometric Research Indicator List (BFI)
  • British Humanities Index (Proquest)
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS)
  • FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals (Proquest)
  • IBR – International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences (De Gruyter)
  • IBZ – International Bibliography of Periodical Literature (De Gruyter)
  • MLA Directory of Periodicals
  • MLA International Bibliography
  • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers
  • Scopus (Elsevier)

Editor: Ted Nannicelli, Film and Television Studies, University of Queensland, Australia

Associate Editors
Tim Smith, Cognitive Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK
Aaron Taylor, New Media, University of Lethbridge, Canada
Margrethe Bruun Vaage, Film Studies, University of Kent, UK

Editorial Board
Fredrick Luis Aldama, English, The Ohio State University, USA
Richard Allen, Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong
Andreas Bartels, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany
Anne Bartsch, Communications and Media Studies, University of Leipzig, Germany
Todd Berliner, Film Studies, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA
David Bordwell, Communication Arts (Emeritus), University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA
Noel Carroll, Philosophy, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
Yadin Dudai, Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Cynthia Freeland, Philosophy, University of Houston, USA
Torben Grodal, Film and Media Studies (Emeritus), University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Tom Gunning, Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago, USA
Uri Hasson, Psychology, Princeton University, USA
Patrick Colm Hogan, English, University of Connecticut, USA
Daniel Levin, Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, USA
Paisley Livingston, Philosophy (Emeritus), Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Joseph P. Magliano, Educational Psychology, Georgia State University, USA
Carl Plantinga, Communication Arts and Sciences, Calvin College, USA
Nick Redfern, Independent Scholar
Robert Sinnerbrink, Philosophy, Macquarie University, Australia
Greg Smith, Communication, Georgia State University, USA
Murray Smith, Film Studies, University of Kent, UK
Vivian Sobchack, Film, Television, and Digital Media (Emerita), University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Jane Stadler, University of New England, Australia
Ed S. Tan, Department of Media Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen and Amsterdam School of Communications Research (Emeritus), University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Katherine Thomson-Jones,Philosophy, Oberlin College, USA
Malcolm Turvey, Film and Media Studies, Tufts University, USA
Jeffrey Zacks, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, USA
Lisa Zunshine, English, University of Kentucky, USA

Founding Editor: Ira Konigsberg, Film (Emeritus), University of Michigan, USA

Manuscript Submission

Please review the submission and style guidelines carefully before submitting.

The editorial board welcomes contributions. Authors should submit articles as attachments by e-mail, formatted as Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) files. Electronic submissions are preferred, but mailed contributions will be reviewed. Please note that all correspondence will be transmitted via e-mail. Submissions without complete and properly formatted reference lists may be rejected. Manuscripts accepted for publication that do not conform to the Projections style will be returned to the author for amendment.

E-mail submissions to Ted Nannicelli at

View Guest Editor Guidelines here.

Book Reviews
If you are interested in reviewing a monograph for Projections, please email an expression of interest to Associate Editor Aaron Taylor:
If you are a publisher who would like to inform Projections about a prospective title for review, please send all relevant information (including the most direct means of obtaining a review copy) to Associate Editor Aaron Taylor:

Have other questions? Please refer to the Berghahn Info for Authors page for general information and guidelines including topics such as article usage and permissions for Berghahn journal article authors.

Ethics Statement

Authors published in Projections certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions, book reviews, and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete Projections ethics statement.

Annual Subscriptions

Volume 18/2024, 3 issues p.a. (spring, summer, winter) 
ISSN 1934-9688 (Print) · ISSN 1934-9696 (Online) 
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Recommend to Your Library


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The Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI)

Leading the study of how moving-image media shape and are shaped by human psychological activity

The Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) is an interdisciplinary organization of scholars interested in cognitive, philosophical, aesthetic, neurophysiological, and evolutionary-psychological approaches to the analysis of film and other moving-image media.

Membership in SCSMI, including a print subscription and online access to Projections, is now directly handled by the association. Please visit the SCSMI website to join as a new member, to renew your membership, or to register for SCSMI annual meetings.

SCSMI members: For online access to Projections, please visit the SCSMI website and log in.

Members of SCSMI seek to understand, among other things, the ways these media arouse our senses, stir our emotions, and prod us to thought. They explore how conceptions of social organization and human nature find their way into films, television, video games, and online videos. Their research seeks to explain the power of movies over audiences, what popular films tell us about the ways our minds work, and how documentaries and avant-garde films engage us. How may media products bear the traces of social intelligence and evolved capacities? What philosophical issues are at stake in examining media from a psychological perspective? These are just some of the questions SCSMI members pursue in their own research, at SCSMI conferences, and in the pages of Projections. The gatherings are lively; the research articles are deeply informed and consistently provocative.

We invite all people interested in understanding media from a broadly cognitive perspective to join us in exploring the range and depth of the moving image.

Renew your SCSMI membership or join as a new member!

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This article describes a new method for assessing the effect of a given film on viewers' brain activity. Brain activity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during free viewing of films, and inter-subject correlation analysis (ISC) was used to assess similarities in the spatiotemporal responses across viewers' brains during movie watching. Our results demonstrate that some films can exert considerable control over brain activity and eye movements. However, this was not the case for all types of motion picture sequences, and the level of control over viewers' brain activity differed as a function of movie content, editing, and directing style. We propose that ISC may be useful to film studies by providing a quantitative neuroscientific assessment of the impact of different styles of filmmaking on viewers' brains, and a valuable method for the film industry to better assess its products. Finally, we suggest that this method brings together two separate and largely unrelated disciplines, cognitive neuroscience and film studies, and may open the way for a new interdisciplinary field of “neurocinematic” studies.


The intention of most film editing is to create the impression of continuity by editing together discontinuous viewpoints. The continuity editing rules are well established yet there exists an incomplete understanding of their cognitive foundations. This article presents the Attentional Theory of Cinematic Continuity (AToCC), which identifies the critical role visual attention plays in the perception of continuity across cuts and demonstrates how perceptual expectations can be matched across cuts without the need for a coherent representation of the depicted space. The theory explains several key elements of the continuity editing style including match-action, matchedexit/entrances, shot/reverse-shot, the 180° rule, and point-of-view editing. AToCC formalizes insights about viewer cognition that have been latent in the filmmaking community for nearly a century and demonstrates how much vision science in general can learn from film.

This article extends current theorizing in media psychology on audience responses to cinema by examining individuals' perceptions of meaningfulness. Specifically, it presents the results of a study designed to expand upon research on psychological and subjective well-being to experiences and memories of films that are perceived as particularly meaningful by viewers. Characteristics and themes of such films are examined and identified, as well as the specific emotional responses that accompany perceptions of meaningful cinema.

Historically, debates over media violence have been a central focus of media research. Yet lacking from these debates is a meaningful discussion about the conceptualization of media violence. We argue that violence is not a monolithic construct, and is based on viewer perceptions of specific types of images and framing in media content. This idea has scholarly precedence: In 2002 and 2003, Potter and his colleagues proposed that perceptions of violence are formed as audience members make assessments about the relative levels of (in order) graphicness, realism, and justification for witnessed, on-screen violent actions. This article furthers this tri-partite conceptualization by using a binary-choice conjoint analysis to determine the role of each attribute in guiding audience perceptions of and preference for violent media in film and video games. For both media types, justification was the most central factor in shaping perceptions of violence, but realism was the most important predictor for the preference of violence.

This article examines embodied visual meaning in film, the ways that film makes use of recurring dynamic patterns of our shared bodily interactions with the world (image schemas) to communicate abstract meaning to the viewer. Following the lead of recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience, the article argues that this metaphorical transference of abstract thought by means of image schemas is possible via the activation of embodied mirroring mechanisms in the observer. This empathetic and physical encounter of the viewer with the representational content and form of the work is crucial to the understanding of abstract conceptual thought in film.