Embodied Seeing-In, Empathy, and Expansionism

in Projections

Abstract

I will argue that the ambition to provide a naturalized aesthetics of film in Murray Smith’s Film, Art, and the Third Culture is not fully matched by the actual explanatory work done. This is because it converges too much on the emotional engagement with character at the expense of other features of film. I will make three related points to back up my claim. I will argue (1) that Smith does not adequately capture in what ways the phenomenon of seeing-in, introduced early in the book, could explain our complex engagement with moving images; (2) that because of this oversight he also misconstrues the role of the mirror neuron system in our engagement with filmic scenes; and (3) that an account of embodied seeing-in could be a remedy for the above. In order to demonstrate the latter point, I will show how such an account could contribute to the analysis of a central sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951) that Smith also discusses.

Film, Art, and the Third Culture is an exciting and ambitious manifesto for a cooperative naturalism with respect to cultural phenomena. It has the potential to provide a rich basis for research on aesthetic phenomena that transcends disciplinary boundaries. It also could spur a necessary debate regarding the added value of such endeavors. In film studies, those have become more common in recent years and although Smith quotes many respective examples, he nonetheless, or so I argue, misses the mark of adequately grounding them. Especially in his application of neuroscientific theories to the analysis of filmic scenes in Part 2, he remains too close to what has been identified in the cognitive sciences as the biological basis of mental capacities and their relation to social interactions (as, e.g., in the case of empathy). He, therefore, does not fully address in which ways they become re-appropriated in our interactions with cultural artifacts and factor in our appreciation of these artifacts.

Following Smith’s trajectory, I will first focus on some claims regarding a general aesthetic naturalism. In particular, I will address his version of “expansionism,” which he introduces, among other things, as a methodological feature to help situate cultural and aesthetic phenomena within the cognitive sciences. I will then tackle naturalized aesthetics in a more applied manner using one of Smith’s prime example of research in neuroaesthetics, namely the role of the mirror neuron system (MNS) for empathy and for an explanation of our engagement with film. My focus then will be Chapter 7, in which triangulation (i.e., the combination of neurological, psychological, and phenomenological data) regarding empathy, subempathic components, and MNS activity is put to the test. Since the MNS is also a cornerstone of Smith’s understanding of embodied cognition in film reception—backing up his suspicion regarding any strict lingua-form theory of such engagements—it should be a desideratum to understand the limits and potential of MNS research. I do not see that desideratum fully matched in Smith’s book. Although I will not be able to fill that gap, I will hint at a way to do so by linking expansionism and the potential of MNS research on film via the concept of embodied seeing-in in film.

Expansionism Introduced

In the Introduction Smith presents expansionism as one of the three motifs that will structure the debates in the book. It accompanies two other motifs: the specificity of aesthetic experience compared to other mental states and the self-conscious character of such an experience (i.e., we are savoring such experiences rather than just having them). The two latter motifs—specificity and the aspect of self-consciousness—become integrated into a broader naturalism via the first one: namely, the explanation that everyday experiences and their underlying cognitive capacities are expanded in aesthetic cases. Smith describes this process as the “pushing or pulling of ordinary perception and cognition out of their comfort zones and customary functioning” (2017: 7). The naturalization strategy behind this is clear: our engagement with film in particular and art more generally is a deeply entrenched human cognitive trait that has become possible through the application of basic cognitive capacities to our interaction with cultural artifacts. Whatever is special about engagement with art and aesthetic experiences can in principle be explained in terms of “the redeployment of our ordinary capacities in extraordinary ways” (2017: 42).

In Chapter 1, Smith introduces expansionism as a more technical term. There, he quotes Dominic McIver Lopes’ version of it: “Capacities are frequently extended in quite new directions, operating in ways not seen outside artistic contexts” (Lopes 2003: 645). Expansionism, therefore, claims that already at the perceptual level of our engagement with cultural artifacts we employ capacities beyond what could be considered their more basic biological confines. Depiction is the prime example for Lopes and Smith: we see objects in pictures (and this holds even for such “extreme cases” as cubist paintings) because we have learned to engage with pictures in a specific manner that expands our basic cognitive abilities. The central capacity involved in the perception of images is seeing-in: we perceive objects and scenes in the configurational features of images: “Arguably, seeing-in itself is the basic form of expansion here” (Smith 2017: 42). Smith’s examples of expansionism in these passages can be read as instances of such expansive seeing-in (or can be related to a version thereof). He discusses camera and lens effects in films, epitomized in the famous uses of “contrazoom” in Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) and Jaws (Spielberg, 1975). Here, Smith characterizes the effect of “disorientation or shock” (2017: 39) as based on an expansion of our perceptual engagement on the phenomenological level. The disorientation effects become salient in the respective scenes because we see in them Scottie’s perspective burst back on him (in the case of Vertigo) or police chief Brody’s fears encroach on him when the shark attacks (in the case of Jaws). Such visual transformations in film become aesthetically appealing because they provide a specific perceptual access to the scene depicted and/or they inflect our experience of what is seen. What is central here, or so I would argue, is that the respective design features of the camera and lense effect, no matter how much they might grab our attention, are to be understood as perceived together with the scene that is depicted.

Such visual transformations in film become aesthetically interesting because they provide a specific perceptual access to the scene depicted and/or they inflect our experience of what is seen.

Varieties of Expansionism and Seeing-In

I first want to hint at a double counting concerning expansionism that seems to permeate Smith’s account. Somehow, expansionism is supposed to explain too much. It explains that picture and motion picture perception is “phenomenologically distinct from ordinary perception,” but it also explains the stronger case of the defamiliarization of “our perceptual, cognitive, and/or emotional experience of these phenomena” (2017: 42f.). The latter is supposed to contribute to the effects that furnish our aesthetic experiences of film and other cultural artifacts. The first kind of explanation seems to refer to a more basic capacity, though, and encompasses explanations of how the more and more complex forms of filmic presentations (or other pictorial media) still afford us the opportunity to see characters, objects, and scenes in them at all. One could call this expansionismo. Yet without further qualification, such an expansionismo does not give us what could be called expansionism+, namely, an explanation of what makes certain experiences aesthetic or challenging as opposed to, say, pragmatic (i.e., a recognition of objects in a film without aesthetic pleasure).

It is important to note that expansionismo is a central element that a naturalized film philosophy has to account for. For example, in order to understand that a shot after a cut still pertains to the same, coherent scene we have to have evolved an understanding of the ways film depict scenes in general.

Media-inexperienced viewers have trouble following even such a simple shot/reverse shot pattern: they often do not experience the object or animal depicted after a cut as the same as before the cut (Ildirar and Schwan 2015; Schwan and Ildirar 2010). Subjects exposed to TV and Hollywood cinema, on the other hand, have incorporated such filmic perceptual patterns as second nature to the extent that they exert “edit blindness” for such shot patterns (T. Smith and Henderson 2008). Film-experienced viewers might therefore not consciously perceive those cuts due to the attention-guiding mechanisms of skilled filmmakers, but also due to our habituation to certain filmic norms of displaying a scene. As I have argued elsewhere (Fingerhut and Heimann 2017), film is a “pervasive artifact” in this respect and we might have developed a filmic body schema that we employ once we engage with a film. The more general point that I want to make here—and I am sure Smith would agree with it—is that, without a proper understanding of the film-specific sets of sensorimotor rules we employ in such contexts, we lack the basis for an understanding of our more peculiar and outstanding experiences of film.

While such an explanation of our basic artifactual engagement is a necessary building block of a theory of seeing-in for film, it nonetheless only gets us halfway toward what Smith seems to aim for and what I call expansionism+. Such an expansionism would require explanations of why we perceive a specific filmic pattern as being intensely moving, pleasurable, or aesthetically interesting. Since the relationship between the two expansionisms is not properly accounted for by Smith, any transition between expansionismo with respect to picture perception and expansionism+ with respect to aesthetic engagement has to remain obscure. Moreover, this obscurity has further ramifications. Smith presents his version of expansionism as a way to retain aesthetic phenomena within the realm of explanations in the cognitive sciences. However, without additional explanatory work, it will not do the job: the danger of inexplicability with respect to what constitutes an aesthetic experience (that he claims to have fended off) looms large again. To be clear: I do not want to argue for an in-principle gap here. Quite the contrary: I would like to press Smith on being more explicit on what for him constitutes an aesthetic experience or a successful artwork, so that we may both tighten our grasp on possible explanations thereof.

The closest Smith comes to expansionism+ is, to my mind, a version of “foregrounding” in experiences either of artistic styles or filmic means. Consider again the lens effects described above: in the case of the “contrazoom,” the effect contributes in an interesting way to the understanding, perception, and emotional engagement with the depicted scene. The filmic means become visible to an extent (and in a sense accessible for conscious appreciation), they influence saliently how we perceive the depicted scene, and they constitute a seeing-in experience that is intense and pleasurable. In the following I will focus on the latter. As Richard Wollheim has argued with respect to paintings, once the “twofoldness” of the seeing-in experience (referring to a configurational and recognitional fold of this experience) has become established as a norm, artists can “reciprocate by undertaking to establish increasingly complex correspondences and analogies between features of the thing present and features of that which is seen in the thing present” ([1980] 2015: 146).1 Even if, in the filmic case, there might not always be a perceivable, marked surface in Wollheim’s sense, moving images nonetheless provide configurational features that differ from face-to-face perception, with cuts and camera movements being two such features. That those are extended in time is a central characteristic of the medium that should not prevent us from seeing the parallels to static images: in both cases, we can discern configurational features from those of the depicted scene, and both contribute to the experience.

Even if, in the filmic case, there might not always be a perceivable, marked surface in Wollheim’s sense, moving images nonetheless provide configurational features that differ from face-to-face perception, with cuts and camera movements being two such features.

Smith has defended the twofoldness of the experience of film elsewhere (2011), yet there he applies it mostly to our attitude toward character (of the actor and the role the actor plays). I will not take issue with this notion here, but rather use it as a further pressure point: if Smith already accepts versions of twofoldness as a given, why not look into the ways it contributes to aesthetic experiences and the appreciation of other, more specifically filmic means, such as camera work and editing (since the twofoldness of character also applies to the theater)? To be clear, I will not focus on the necessary or sufficient conditions of filmic depiction in this article (since this is also not Smith’s focus), but rather address how twofoldness might figure in what Wollheim called “substantial” or applied aesthetics (Wollheim 1987), and that I see Smith engaging in in Part 2 of his book, to which I now turn.

Empathy with the Medium

As shown above, Smith introduces expansionism via the example of seeing-in. When his focus switches to the treatment of empathy, though, and the expansion of empathic engagement in Part 2, the thread that relates expansionism to seeing-in is somewhat lost. He instead focuses on other cases of expansionism, for example when he characterizes empathy in film as being “deeper” and more refined compared to standard applications (Smith 2017: 179). Motor and affective mimicry, as well as emotional contagion, are the pre-reflective responses that make such experiences possible, and, as Smith argues, the MNS has been identified as a central component in subserving such processes. In particular Vittorio Gallese’s concept of “embodied simulation” (Gallese 2005) provides the basis for a fuller understanding of the empathic imaginings with characters in film, in which according to Smith “mimicry of basic actions and emotions may scaffold the imagination, including the empathic imagination, of more elaborate, finely specified states of mind” (2017: 180). A short sequence from Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, 1951) is supposed to demonstrate this point. What Smith here convincingly shows is that the depiction of certain actions (e.g., of a hand grasping for a lighter) and facial expressions (the distress visible in the face of the two protagonists) in close-ups can lead to what he calls “more elaborate empathic imaginings” (2017: 180) compared to everyday engagements of the same sort.

Yet, the MNS has not only been shown to be involved in processes that underlie our emotional and social engagement with the actions of others. It also, as David Freedberg and Vittorio Gallese (2007) have argued, might be a necessary component in our engagement with traces of the artist in artworks (they discuss visual art and the motor engagement with brushstrokes and cuts in the canvas). The interesting discovery is that the motor system responds to the presence of visible signs in the artifact without any human figure explicitly present (see, e.g., Umiltà et al. 2012). In a recent series of studies, Katrin Heimann and colleagues have applied MNS paradigms to the study of filmic means. They used different edits (continuity versus noncontinuity editing) or different camera and lens movements (zoom vs dolly cam vs steady cam) to film the same scene. As they discovered, those different configurational aspects of the presentation of a scene engage the motor system differentially (see Heimann et al. 2017 for cuts, and see Heimann et al. 2014 for other camera movements).

For camera movements, they have been able to show that the steady cam elicits a stronger mu rhythm desynchronization (which is a marker of motor resonance in humans) compared to a zoom. In each of their self-produced scenes, there is an actress/actor present, who is grasping or passing an object. The more naturally embodied approach via the steady cam might therefore allow an approach to the scene in which we experience ourselves “carried over” to them, and we might exert motor mimicry to the actions they execute (as the mirror paradigm predicts) that is stronger because we feel closer to them. Yet the stronger motor activity found in the steady cam condition might not only be due to motor resonance with the actions of the actress/actor; it could also be partially due to an engagement with the marks of the camera movement that we experience in the succession of frames.2

The stronger motor activity found in the steady cam condition might not only be due to motor resonance with the actions of the actress/actor; it could also be partially due to an engagement with the marks of the camera movement that we experience in the succession of frames.

Similar things can be shown for different edits of the same scene. Here, they found hemispheric differences with respect to motor activity comparing continuity edits with violations of continuity editing rules, such as the “cut across the line,” in which the camera’s perspective jumps over an imaginary line between two actors that defines the “allowed” 180-degrees of all the possible angles that a camera could take with respect to them.

Motor Responses to Strangers on a Train

With these additional insights, let’s turn to Smith’s discussion of the scenes in Strangers on a Train. The dramatic situation at this point in the movie is the following: Guy (the good guy) has to win a tennis match as fast as possible in order to stop Bruno (the bad guy), who is on his way to plant an incriminating lighter that belonged to Guy at the scene of a murder. As already mentioned, Smith highlights the role of facial mimicry and emotional contagion: we experience time-pressed desperation in both protagonists’ faces, which is made possible and enhanced by close-ups. We now also can address MNS activity that refers to a broader spectrum of filmic means used in these sequences. The subempathic mechanisms that Smith has implicated in his explanations are also employed in further engagements with configurational features used by Hitchcock, and can therefore inform our analysis of those scenes.

I will discuss the Guy and the Bruno line of action independently and ignore the frequent crosscutting between the two storylines that also contributes to the dramatic experience. Let’s talk about Guy’s tennis match first: Hitchcock cuts from a medium shot of the two players and a further establishing shot of the tennis stadium to a close-up of Guy at the beginning of the match. This shot is followed by a “cut across the line” that contributes to a feeling of disorientation and urge. The continuity rule violation is rather subtle (the camera angle is only slightly across the line in the shot from behind Guy and the cut might also be attenuated by a “crosscut” to Guy’s girlfriend in the crowd). The next “cut across the line” is maybe not as subtle. It goes again “across the line” into a perspective from inside the commentators’ cabin. This cut comes with some additional discontinuity elements since the trajectory of the ball played on the tennis court does not really match the one before the cut.

d4727429e305

“Cut across the line” in the tennis scene in Strangers on a Train (Warner Bros., 1951) from one side of the tennis court to the commentators’ cabin on the other.

Citation: Projections 12, 2; 10.3167/proj.2018.120205

And there is more: the camera moves faster and is less stable the more pressing time becomes, leading to fast-panning camera movements toward the end of the match that are unparalleled in the rest of the movie. Motor engagement with the means of depiction—that is, sensorimotor updating for crosscutting and possible motor mimicry of the camera in the unstable and panning movements—might therefore lend themselves to a more thorough explanation of the efficacy of this scene. This all is still a somewhat cursory description, and more would have to be said concerning the ways in which the suggested motor engagements relate to psychological concepts and how they determine experiences of seeing-in in this scene. The more general point I want to make, though, is that it is not just empathy with the characters that explains what Smith might want to call expansive experiences or even expansive empathy here.

d4727429e319

Shots from the fall of the lighter in Strangers on a Train (Warner Bros., 1951) indicating a panning and retraction of the camera.

Citation: Projections 12, 2; 10.3167/proj.2018.120205

The same holds for the parallel scene of Bruno trying to reach the cigarette lighter that fell into a sewer. We see close-ups of the hand grasping, and Smith highlights that the specific goal-directed action depicted and the closeness might heighten our mirror response.3 However, also for the Bruno sequence I would argue that Smith’s analysis falls short for the aforementioned reasons. In a desperate attempt to reach for the lighter, Bruno tips it over an edge and it falls even deeper into the sewer. The fall is accompanied by a vertical panning shot that is combined with a retraction of the camera that is possibly on a dolly-like construction that nonetheless allows for some unstable frames.

Going back to the studies on camera movements, one could argue that using this kind of camera movement away from the scene (which is quite similar to a steady cam movement) instead of a simple lens effect (zoom) adds an experience of physical distancing from Bruno’s object of desire. The use of those specific filmic means might therefore intensify the experience of loss and disappointment.

Conclusion

The aim of this article is not to present a well-confirmed hypothesis, but instead to indicate a line of research in empirical aesthetics that could fill some gaps concerning the thread of expansionism, seeing-in, and empathy in Film, Art, and the Third Culture. My focus was on motor responses to filmic means. The observations I made are speculative, and many of the claims in the last section have not been backed up by empirical studies. Additionally, a proper MNS account of seeing-in for film will require a stronger focus on the impact of parallel and overlapping or conflicting motor responses to features of the scene and configurational features of camera and cut. Further questions ensue on the experimental (what makes the experience of the configurational fold so salient that it presents itself to conscious attention and memory?) and theoretical levels (is a subpersonal motor representation of filmic means in the depiction of a scene sufficient to speak of a “twofold” experience in all cases?). Yet, even with the simplified account I presented, we now can more fully address motor activity and the role the MNS plays as a mediator of our embodied, subempathic engagement with film. Concerning seeing-in, I have generally argued that activity in motor centers modulates our responses to filmic means as well as to the depicted actions of the characters and that an account of embodied seeing-in should figure in explanations of both folds (configurational and recognitional) of our filmic experience.

Concerning seeing-in, I have generally argued that activity in motor centers modulates our responses to filmic means as well as to the depicted actions of the characters and should figure in explanations of both folds (configurational and recognitional) of our filmic experience.

I argued further that Smith, by not putting seeing-in (one of his prime examples of expansionism) properly to work, avoids what I would call a necessary complication for any naturalized theory of filmic empathy. He misses an integral part of the explanandum of our film engagement and cannot achieve “the completeness and depth of an explanation” (2017: 52) he aims for, and that avails itself to us once we include the components that I highlighted above. Once we allow “motor empathy with the camera” and related concepts as expressions of embodied perceptual skill as part of our expansive account of empathy in such cases, it also has a greater revisional capacity (in Smith’s sense of theory-building). The resulting re-descriptions of the role specific subpersonal mechanisms play in our engagement with film, might also feed back into the general understanding of those mechanisms in the cognitive sciences and make the artifactual nature of our cognitive capacities and what might qualify as aesthetic experiences of cultural artifacts a central part of their endeavor.

Acknowledgments

I am thankful for comments on this article that I received from Robert Hopkins, Noël Carroll, and Jesse J. Prinz at the “Naturalized Aesthetics of Film” Workshop at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) in 2018. I am indebted to Laura di Summa-Knoop for comments on a draft of this article. And I am very grateful to Felix Binder for his comments and for his help in finalizing this manuscript for publication.

Notes
1

For some central positions in the recent debate on twofoldness, inflection, and its relationship to evaluation in still images and paintings, see Lopes (2005), Nanay (2010), and Hopkins (2010).

2

This would indicate a more direct engagement with the means of film themselves. For an attempt to focus on this kind of engagement with the camera, see Heimann and colleagues (submitted)

3

In the original findings of a motor mirror mechanism—done with single-cell recording in macaques—it was exactly such perceived grasping that elicited activity in the same neuron the macaque would activate during the execution of the grasping action (di Pellegrino et al. 1992). Interestingly enough, it has recently been shown that there is also a response to filmed grasping behavior in macaques (Caggiano et al. 2011).

References

  • CaggianoVittorioLeonardo FogassiGiacomo RizzolattiJoern K. PomperPeter ThierMartin A. Giese and Antonino Casile. 2011. “View-Based Encoding of Actions in Mirror Neurons of Area F5 in Macaque Premotor Cortex.” Current Biology 21 (2): 144148. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2010.12.022.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Di PellegrinoGiuseppeLuciano FadigaLeonardo FogassiVittorio Gallese and Giacomo Rizzolatti. 1992. “Understanding Motor Events: A Neurophysiological Study.” Experimental Brain Research 91 (1): 176180. doi:10.1007/BF00230027.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FingerhutJoerg and Katrin Heimann. 2017. “Movies and the Mind: On Our Filmic Body.” In Investigating the Constitution of the Shared World ed. Christoph DurtThomas Fuchs and Christian Tewes353377. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FreedbergDavid and Vittorio Gallese. 2007. “Motion, Emotion and Empathy in Esthetic Experience.” In Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (5): 197203. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2007.02.00.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GalleseVittorio. 2005. “Embodied Simulation: From Neurons to Phenomenal Experience.” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (1): 2348.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HeimannKatrinSebo UitholMarta CalbiM. Alessandra UmiltàMichele GuerraJoerg Fingerhut and Vittorio Gallese. Submitted. “Embodying the Camera: An EEG Study on the Effect of Camera Movements on Film Spectators’ Sensorimotor Cortex Activation.”

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HeimannKatrinSebo UitholMarta CalbiM. Alessandra UmiltàMichele Guerra and Vittorio Gallese. 2017. “‘Cuts in Action’: A High-Density EEG Study Investigating the Neural Correlates of Different Editing Techniques in Film.” Cognitive Science 41 (6): 15551588. doi:10.1111/cogs.12439.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HeimannKatrinM. Alessandra UmiltàMichele Guerra and Vittorio Gallese. 2014. “Moving Mirrors: A High-Density EEG Study Investigating the Effect of Camera Movements on Motor Cortex Activation During Action Observation.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 26 (9): 20872101. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00602.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HopkinsRobert. 2010. “Inflected Pictorial Experience: Its Treatment and Significance.” In Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction ed. Catharine Abell and Katerina Bantinaki151180. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • IldirarSermin and Stephan Schwan. 2015. “First-Time Viewers’ Comprehension of Films: Bridging Shot Transitions.” British Journal of Psychology 106 (1): 133151. doi:10.1111/bjop.12069.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LopesDominic M. 2003. “Pictures and the Representational Mind.” The Monist 86 (4): 632652.

  • LopesDominic M. 2005. Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • NanayBence. 2010. “Inflected and Uninflected Experience of Pictures.” In Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction wd. Catharine Abell and Katerina Bantinaki181207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SchwanStephan and Sermin Ildirar. 2010. “Watching Film for the First Time: How Adult Viewers Interpret Perceptual Discontinuities in Film.” Psychological Science 21 (7): 970976. doi:10.1177/0956797610372632.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SmithMurray. 2011. “On the Twofoldness of Character.” New Literary History 42 (2): 277294.

  • SmithMurray. 2017. Film Art and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • SmithTim and John Henderson. 2008. “Edit Blindness: The Relationship between Attention and Global Change Blindness in Dynamic Scenes.” Journal of Eye Movement Research 2 (2): 117. doi:10.16910/jemr.2.2.6.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • UmiltàM. AlessandraCristina BerchioMariateresa SestitoDavid Freedberg and Vittorio Gallese. 2012. “Abstract Art and Cortical Motor Activation: An EEG Study.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 6 (311). doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00311.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WollheimRichard. 1987. Painting as an Art : With 388 Illustrations 30 in Colour. London: Thames and Hudson.

  • WollheimRichard. (1980) 2015. Art and Its Objects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Contributor Notes

Joerg Fingerhut is Postdoctoral Researcher at the “Consciousness, Emotions, Values” Research Group at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin. He holds a PhD in philosophy and works in the field of embodied cognition. His recent research focuses on how we engage with cultural artifacts (such as architecture, pictures, and moving images) and how those shape our mental processes. With regard to engagement with film, he published in 2017 a paper entitled “Movies and the Mind: Our Filmic Body” together with neuroscientist Katrin Heimann. He also conducts experimental research on aesthetic phenomena as well as the appreciation of art. Email: joerg.fingerhut@hu-berlin.de

Projections

The Journal for Movies and Mind

  • View in gallery

    “Cut across the line” in the tennis scene in Strangers on a Train (Warner Bros., 1951) from one side of the tennis court to the commentators’ cabin on the other.

  • View in gallery

    Shots from the fall of the lighter in Strangers on a Train (Warner Bros., 1951) indicating a panning and retraction of the camera.

  • CaggianoVittorioLeonardo FogassiGiacomo RizzolattiJoern K. PomperPeter ThierMartin A. Giese and Antonino Casile. 2011. “View-Based Encoding of Actions in Mirror Neurons of Area F5 in Macaque Premotor Cortex.” Current Biology 21 (2): 144148. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2010.12.022.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Di PellegrinoGiuseppeLuciano FadigaLeonardo FogassiVittorio Gallese and Giacomo Rizzolatti. 1992. “Understanding Motor Events: A Neurophysiological Study.” Experimental Brain Research 91 (1): 176180. doi:10.1007/BF00230027.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FingerhutJoerg and Katrin Heimann. 2017. “Movies and the Mind: On Our Filmic Body.” In Investigating the Constitution of the Shared World ed. Christoph DurtThomas Fuchs and Christian Tewes353377. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FreedbergDavid and Vittorio Gallese. 2007. “Motion, Emotion and Empathy in Esthetic Experience.” In Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (5): 197203. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2007.02.00.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GalleseVittorio. 2005. “Embodied Simulation: From Neurons to Phenomenal Experience.” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (1): 2348.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HeimannKatrinSebo UitholMarta CalbiM. Alessandra UmiltàMichele GuerraJoerg Fingerhut and Vittorio Gallese. Submitted. “Embodying the Camera: An EEG Study on the Effect of Camera Movements on Film Spectators’ Sensorimotor Cortex Activation.”

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HeimannKatrinSebo UitholMarta CalbiM. Alessandra UmiltàMichele Guerra and Vittorio Gallese. 2017. “‘Cuts in Action’: A High-Density EEG Study Investigating the Neural Correlates of Different Editing Techniques in Film.” Cognitive Science 41 (6): 15551588. doi:10.1111/cogs.12439.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HeimannKatrinM. Alessandra UmiltàMichele Guerra and Vittorio Gallese. 2014. “Moving Mirrors: A High-Density EEG Study Investigating the Effect of Camera Movements on Motor Cortex Activation During Action Observation.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 26 (9): 20872101. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00602.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HopkinsRobert. 2010. “Inflected Pictorial Experience: Its Treatment and Significance.” In Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction ed. Catharine Abell and Katerina Bantinaki151180. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • IldirarSermin and Stephan Schwan. 2015. “First-Time Viewers’ Comprehension of Films: Bridging Shot Transitions.” British Journal of Psychology 106 (1): 133151. doi:10.1111/bjop.12069.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LopesDominic M. 2003. “Pictures and the Representational Mind.” The Monist 86 (4): 632652.

  • LopesDominic M. 2005. Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • NanayBence. 2010. “Inflected and Uninflected Experience of Pictures.” In Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction wd. Catharine Abell and Katerina Bantinaki181207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SchwanStephan and Sermin Ildirar. 2010. “Watching Film for the First Time: How Adult Viewers Interpret Perceptual Discontinuities in Film.” Psychological Science 21 (7): 970976. doi:10.1177/0956797610372632.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SmithMurray. 2011. “On the Twofoldness of Character.” New Literary History 42 (2): 277294.

  • SmithMurray. 2017. Film Art and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • SmithTim and John Henderson. 2008. “Edit Blindness: The Relationship between Attention and Global Change Blindness in Dynamic Scenes.” Journal of Eye Movement Research 2 (2): 117. doi:10.16910/jemr.2.2.6.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • UmiltàM. AlessandraCristina BerchioMariateresa SestitoDavid Freedberg and Vittorio Gallese. 2012. “Abstract Art and Cortical Motor Activation: An EEG Study.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 6 (311). doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00311.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WollheimRichard. 1987. Painting as an Art : With 388 Illustrations 30 in Colour. London: Thames and Hudson.

  • WollheimRichard. (1980) 2015. Art and Its Objects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 3 3 3
PDF Downloads 0 0 0