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When the Future Is Hard to Recall

Episodic Memory and Mnemonic Aids in Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival

Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski

, Bradford Young; and the film’s various editors. Arrival is a bona fide puzzle film, insofar as it deliberately scrambles the temporal and spatial contexts that viewers rely on in order to create mental narratives and episodic memories. The complex

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Yadin Dudai

This article proposes that a major drive in the fast evolution of cinema is that film uniquely fits, exploits and expands the potential of a specialized cognitive machinery in the human brain. This is working memory (WM), a limited capacity processing system that temporarily holds and processes on-line and off-line information under attentional control during the planning and execution of a task. A dominant model of WM depicts multiple components, including a central executive, subordinate workspaces for spatio-visual information and for sound and language, and an episodic buffer that binds episodes on the go and is capable of sorting them into long-term memory. The distinct generic attributes of film and their relevance to the subcomponents and operation of WM in the spectator are described. It is proposed that in watching a movie, WM operates in a special mode, dubbed the representation-of-representation (ROR) mode, in which normal motor response to reality is suppressed. It is further proposed that under proper contextual settings and mind set, the central executive of the spectator relinquishes control to the film information, culminating in a transient rewarding dissociative state. The usefulness of the model is discussed in the framework of the newly emerging discipline of neurocinematics. In evolutionary context, the interaction of film and brain is bidirectional. Film in its broadest sense is an extra-corporeal audiovisual space that allows the human brain to perform detailed past and future mental time travel which, unlike WM and human memory in general, has unlimited capacity, variability and endurance. This augments the original phylogenetic advantage that had probably led to the emergence of episodic memory in the first place.

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A Vision of the Viewer

Situating Narration in the Fiction Film in the Context of Theories of Narrative Comprehension

Joseph P. Magliano and James A. Clinton

matched against features stored in memory. Through this process, a mental representation for the event is created and updated by incorporating the newly encoded information and the relevant features from the schema in episodic memory. One could

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Andreas Baranowski and Heiko Hecht

seems to be particularly true of episodic (events) and less so for semantic (factual knowledge) memory. In the following, we only look at episodic memory, because movies are storytelling devices that are structured in episodes. Educational films are

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The Punctum and the Past

Sartre and Barthes on Memory and Fascination

Patrick Eldridge

), 53–55, 57–59. 3 Sartre, Transcendence , 30. 4 In another article I investigate a non-reflective form of self-objectification in memory called ‘observer memories’, which are episodic memories form a third-person perspective. Cf. Patrick Eldridge

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Toward a Naturalized Aesthetics of Film Music

An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Intramusical and Extramusical Meaning

Timothy Justus

consistent with the many ways in which music stimulates other cognitive activities, including the generation of visual images, the embodied simulation of playing the music or dancing to it, the priming of words and concepts, the recollection of episodic

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Twofoldness in Moving Images

The Philosophy and Neuroscience of Filmic Experience

Joerg Fingerhut

features. This might be due to our memory system being more geared toward contents (episodic memory) and elements of the story told. Philosophical considerations might lead one to construe limiting cases (such as has been done with trompe-l'oeils in the