Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
PsychocinematicsExploring Cognition at the Movies$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Arthur P. Shimamura

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199862139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199862139.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 May 2019

Watching You Watch Movies: Using Eye Tracking to Inform Cognitive Film Theory

Watching You Watch Movies: Using Eye Tracking to Inform Cognitive Film Theory

(p.165) 9 Watching You Watch Movies: Using Eye Tracking to Inform Cognitive Film Theory

Tim J. Smith

Oxford University Press

How do we watch movies? Filmmakers have hypothesized about viewer behavior for decades and several aspects of film craft such as mise en scène, cinematography, staging, and editing are directly motivated by where viewers are expected to look. However, up until very recently there has been virtually no empirical investigation of viewer gaze behavior. In this chapter an approach to film cognition referred to as Cognitive Computational Cinematics (the CCC approach) is established. This approach combines empirical methods from cognitive psychology with computational methods for analyzing the audiovisual content of films. The CCC approach is used to establish why it is important to know where a viewer is looking and how this relates to their experience of a film. By reviewing eye movement behavior in static scenes and comparing it to dynamic scenes, the problems of predicting gaze behavior in films from traditional static presentations will be highlighted. The inclusion of motion leads to radically different viewing patterns including attentional synchrony, the spontaneous clustering of multiple viewers' gaze location. Analyzing cinematic features such as cuts, shot types, shot lengths and visual features the factors influencing where we look and how we shift our gaze over time will be identified. Finally, how little is currently known about narrative comprehension and viewing task during movie viewing is discussed. Eye tracking provides a powerful real-time measure of viewer cognition and the scope and impact of its application to questions of film theory has only just begun.

Keywords:   attention, eye movements, film theory, cognition, attention, perception, gaze, saccades

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .