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The stream of experience when watching artistic movies. Dynamic aesthetic effects revealed by the Continuous Evaluation Procedure (CEP).

Muth C, Raab MH, Carbon CC - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: We conducted empirical studies on indeterminate artistic movies depicting the evolution and metamorphosis of Gestalt and investigated (i) the effects of sudden perceptual insights on liking; that is, "Aesthetic Aha"-effects, (ii) the dynamics of interest before moments of insight, and (iii) the dynamics of complexity before and after moments of insight.Statistically significant changes in liking and interest demonstrated that: (i) insights increase liking, (ii) interest already increases 1500 ms before such moments of insight, supporting the idea that it is evoked by an expectation of understanding, and (iii) insights occur during increasing complexity.Our results point to the importance of systematic analyses of dynamics in art perception and appreciation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of General Psychology and Methodology, University of Bamberg Bamberg, Germany ; Bamberg Graduate School of Affective and Cognitive Sciences, University of Bamberg Bamberg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Research in perception and appreciation is often focused on snapshots, stills of experience. Static approaches allow for multidimensional assessment, but are unable to catch the crucial dynamics of affective and perceptual processes; for instance, aesthetic phenomena such as the "Aesthetic-Aha" (the increase in liking after the sudden detection of Gestalt), effects of expectation, or Berlyne's idea that "disorientation" with a "promise of success" elicits interest. We conducted empirical studies on indeterminate artistic movies depicting the evolution and metamorphosis of Gestalt and investigated (i) the effects of sudden perceptual insights on liking; that is, "Aesthetic Aha"-effects, (ii) the dynamics of interest before moments of insight, and (iii) the dynamics of complexity before and after moments of insight. Via the so-called Continuous Evaluation Procedure (CEP) enabling analogous evaluation in a continuous way, participants assessed the material on two aesthetic dimensions blockwise either in a gallery or a laboratory. The material's inherent dynamics were described via assessments of liking, interest, determinacy, and surprise along with a computational analysis on the variable complexity. We identified moments of insight as peaks in determinacy and surprise. Statistically significant changes in liking and interest demonstrated that: (i) insights increase liking, (ii) interest already increases 1500 ms before such moments of insight, supporting the idea that it is evoked by an expectation of understanding, and (iii) insights occur during increasing complexity. We propose a preliminary model of dynamics in liking and interest with regard to complexity and perceptual insight and discuss descriptions of participants' experiences of insight. Our results point to the importance of systematic analyses of dynamics in art perception and appreciation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Piece of wood, detected in a window in Nuremberg in 2013. Photograph by Claudia Muth. Image courtesy of Claudia Muth.
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Figure 1: Piece of wood, detected in a window in Nuremberg in 2013. Photograph by Claudia Muth. Image courtesy of Claudia Muth.

Mentions: If you had taken a walk along a calm side road in Nuremberg last summer, you might have encountered a strange object in a window (Figure 1). Surprised, you might have stopped there wondering why one would put a big piece of sausage—actually appearing to be Milanese salami—in a sunny window. On second glance, it might have appeared to you that this object is actually not a sausage but a piece of wood cut into pieces, with the natural white of the birch bark looking like salami casing, and sausage-like patterns painted on the cut edges. This insight might furthermore have made you wonder about the function of this place: is it a gallery? And finally, despite being amused, you might have even felt a bit fooled as the illusion was obviously deliberately intended for pedestrians and made you an unwitting part of an artistic project. This little episode shows that we are guided by expectations, continuously forming predictions about the world, and that we are easily irritated when they are not met. The underlying mechanism is described in the cognitive sciences as “predictive coding”; a theory deeply rooted in the concept of perception as knowledge-driven inference proposed by psycho–physiologist Von Helmholtz (1866). Within this conceptual framework it is stated that instead of a bottom-up accumulation of information we engage constantly in matching sensory inputs with predictions created on the basis of prior experiences (for a recent critical examination of this account see Clark (2013). Artists widely make use of mismatches between predictions and actual sensory cues by providing deviations from beholders' expectations or perceptual habits. According to the tentative prediction error account of visual art (Van de Cruys and Wagemans, 2011) these mismatches motivate the perceiver to engage in the rewarding resolution of the prediction error.


The stream of experience when watching artistic movies. Dynamic aesthetic effects revealed by the Continuous Evaluation Procedure (CEP).

Muth C, Raab MH, Carbon CC - Front Psychol (2015)

Piece of wood, detected in a window in Nuremberg in 2013. Photograph by Claudia Muth. Image courtesy of Claudia Muth.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4379740&req=5

Figure 1: Piece of wood, detected in a window in Nuremberg in 2013. Photograph by Claudia Muth. Image courtesy of Claudia Muth.
Mentions: If you had taken a walk along a calm side road in Nuremberg last summer, you might have encountered a strange object in a window (Figure 1). Surprised, you might have stopped there wondering why one would put a big piece of sausage—actually appearing to be Milanese salami—in a sunny window. On second glance, it might have appeared to you that this object is actually not a sausage but a piece of wood cut into pieces, with the natural white of the birch bark looking like salami casing, and sausage-like patterns painted on the cut edges. This insight might furthermore have made you wonder about the function of this place: is it a gallery? And finally, despite being amused, you might have even felt a bit fooled as the illusion was obviously deliberately intended for pedestrians and made you an unwitting part of an artistic project. This little episode shows that we are guided by expectations, continuously forming predictions about the world, and that we are easily irritated when they are not met. The underlying mechanism is described in the cognitive sciences as “predictive coding”; a theory deeply rooted in the concept of perception as knowledge-driven inference proposed by psycho–physiologist Von Helmholtz (1866). Within this conceptual framework it is stated that instead of a bottom-up accumulation of information we engage constantly in matching sensory inputs with predictions created on the basis of prior experiences (for a recent critical examination of this account see Clark (2013). Artists widely make use of mismatches between predictions and actual sensory cues by providing deviations from beholders' expectations or perceptual habits. According to the tentative prediction error account of visual art (Van de Cruys and Wagemans, 2011) these mismatches motivate the perceiver to engage in the rewarding resolution of the prediction error.

Bottom Line: We conducted empirical studies on indeterminate artistic movies depicting the evolution and metamorphosis of Gestalt and investigated (i) the effects of sudden perceptual insights on liking; that is, "Aesthetic Aha"-effects, (ii) the dynamics of interest before moments of insight, and (iii) the dynamics of complexity before and after moments of insight.Statistically significant changes in liking and interest demonstrated that: (i) insights increase liking, (ii) interest already increases 1500 ms before such moments of insight, supporting the idea that it is evoked by an expectation of understanding, and (iii) insights occur during increasing complexity.Our results point to the importance of systematic analyses of dynamics in art perception and appreciation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of General Psychology and Methodology, University of Bamberg Bamberg, Germany ; Bamberg Graduate School of Affective and Cognitive Sciences, University of Bamberg Bamberg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Research in perception and appreciation is often focused on snapshots, stills of experience. Static approaches allow for multidimensional assessment, but are unable to catch the crucial dynamics of affective and perceptual processes; for instance, aesthetic phenomena such as the "Aesthetic-Aha" (the increase in liking after the sudden detection of Gestalt), effects of expectation, or Berlyne's idea that "disorientation" with a "promise of success" elicits interest. We conducted empirical studies on indeterminate artistic movies depicting the evolution and metamorphosis of Gestalt and investigated (i) the effects of sudden perceptual insights on liking; that is, "Aesthetic Aha"-effects, (ii) the dynamics of interest before moments of insight, and (iii) the dynamics of complexity before and after moments of insight. Via the so-called Continuous Evaluation Procedure (CEP) enabling analogous evaluation in a continuous way, participants assessed the material on two aesthetic dimensions blockwise either in a gallery or a laboratory. The material's inherent dynamics were described via assessments of liking, interest, determinacy, and surprise along with a computational analysis on the variable complexity. We identified moments of insight as peaks in determinacy and surprise. Statistically significant changes in liking and interest demonstrated that: (i) insights increase liking, (ii) interest already increases 1500 ms before such moments of insight, supporting the idea that it is evoked by an expectation of understanding, and (iii) insights occur during increasing complexity. We propose a preliminary model of dynamics in liking and interest with regard to complexity and perceptual insight and discuss descriptions of participants' experiences of insight. Our results point to the importance of systematic analyses of dynamics in art perception and appreciation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus