Thursday, 18 May 2017

NeuroPsychoCinematics

NeuroPsychoCinematics is a research focus in which I hold a great deal of interest and which deals with the characteristics of film and other audio-visual content and their production in relation to perception, cognition, narrative understanding, emotion and neurobiology. Neuropsychocinematics is not currently an official field of study in its own right, but the groundwork for it does already exist in two other relatively new fields of study, neurocinematics and psychocinematics, which will undoubtedly combine in the not too far distant future in order to form neuropsychocinematics.
"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." 

Neurocinematics: The Neuroscience of Film


My engagement with neuropsychocinematics began with the orchestration of my award-winning theoretical dissertation, Ways of Being: The Spectator and the Spectacle. 

"the human body as a complex organic whole comprises a major variable that has been missing from all film theories’ understandings of the spectator and spectacle relationship... Perhaps the reason previous film theories have been unable to adequately factor actual audience members into their paradigms is precisely because they have deprived their ideal spectators of a physical presence and a body that can influence the filmic experience! Cognitive theory only incorporates the body as far as being an experience simulator driven by perceptual data sourced via the eyes and ears. However, what if the body was actively influencing the filmic experience as a perceptual membrane on a basis equivalent to the eyes and ears?"
- Ways of Being, 2013:55
My speculations in this area of research have since continued with my Ways 2 Interface blog. When I concluded my BA (Hons) I felt compelled to continue down the path that I had started in Ways of Being, but I instinctually felt that I would need to adopt an innovative transdisciplinary approach in order to actually get anywhere with it, hence my Postgraduate 2.0 Studies.

Whether or not I will go back to a traditional academic path in order to progress this research remains to be seen, but I have a hunch that a real opportunity lies in doing it independent of academia and I suspect that this focus will form a component of my entrepreneurial practice.

At any rate, I am a huge supporter of neuropsychocinematics (or whatever it gets called) and I believe it has it has a bright future.
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