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Motion cues modulate responses to emotion in movies

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Abstract

Film theorists and practitioners suggest that motion can be manipulated in movie scenes to elicit emotional responses in viewers. However, our understanding of the role of motion in emotion perception remains limited. On the one hand, movies continuously depict local motion- movements of objects and humans, which are crucial for generating emotional responses. Movie scenes also frequently portray global motion, mainly induced by large camera movements, global motion being yet another source of information used by the brain during natural vision. Here we used functional MRI to elucidate the contributions of local and global motion to emotion perception during movie viewing. Subjects observed long (1 min) movie segments depicting emotional or neutral content. Brain activity in areas that showed preferential responses to emotional content was strongly linked over time with frame-wide variations in global motion, and to a lesser extent with local motion information. Similarly, stronger responses to emotional content were recorded within regions of interest whose activity was attuned to global and local motion over time. Since global motion fields are experienced during self-motion, we suggest that camera movements may induce illusory self-motion cues in viewers that interact with the movie's narrative and with other emotional cues in generating affective responses.

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, PERCEPTION, HUMAN BRAIN, REPRESENTATIONS, SELF-MOTION, CORTEX, BEHAVIORAL STATE, NATURAL VISION, BODY, FLOW, VISUAL RESPONSES
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number10881
Pages (from-to)10881
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2018