Upcoming Events


Attention, Immersion and Psychocinematics


Encounters Film Festival | September 15th, 3.30pm | Waterside 3 | More details here

Filmmakers effectively use inherent natural human mechanisms of vision and cognition which, when studied, can allow scientists to better understand the brain.The psychological study of the relationship between cognition and films is called psychocinematics, and it aims to uncover new insights into science, while informing filmmaking and the development of new cinema technologies. To an external viewer a film audience might seem passive. However psychologists using techniques such as eye tracking observe that the viewer is in fact very active. Through their eye movements audiences actively select information for attention from a vast, potentially overwhelming sensorium. The filmmaking art is to create a smooth flow from shot to shot and to draw the viewer’s attention to the important information. The story becomes a collaboration between audience and director, with meaning created through the successive and well orchestrated flow of information.


Led by Stephen Hinde and Professor Iain Gilchrist from Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology, this session will discuss some of the findings from the University of Bristol in watching audiences watching film. We will look at the nature of immersion in the film experience, and see how it comes through audience attention carefully orchestrated from moment to moment.


Presented with the support of a Wellcome Trust Engaging Science Grant