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Spatial Representation in Cognitive Science and Film

Daniel T. Levin and Caryn Wang

Keywords: cognitive development; intentionality; representation; spatial cognition; spatial memory

Levin and Simons (2000) argued that perceptual experience in film and the real world share a deep similarity in that both rely on inferences that visual properties are stable across views. This article argues that the perception and representation of visual space also reveal deep commonalities between film and the real world. The article reviews psychological research on visual space that suggests that we not only attend to similar spatial cues both in film and in nonmediated settings, but also that the rules for combining and selecting among these cues are similar. In exploring these links, it becomes clear that there is a bidirectional relationship between cognitive psychology and film editing that allows each to provide important insights about the other.

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