Arts 2013, 2(4), 383-446; doi:10.3390/arts2040383

The Perception of Depicted Motion

Received: 27 August 2013; in revised form: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 November 2013 / Published: 10 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Rock Art)
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Abstract: Everyone knows that you can read a galloping horse in a still image as galloping. This paper asks how it is that we perceive motion in pictures. It considers perception of real motion in point-light experiments and the perception of motion in stills via the work of various psychologists, in the course of which it raises theoretical questions about the nature of visual perception. It then offers a detailed examination of knowledge regarding neural substrates for both real and depicted motion perception. Finally, it combines psychological and neurophysiological perspectives with phenomenologically-oriented observation of pictures, discussing both frontoparallel motion and motion in depth (in particular the phenomenon of “looming”) in terms of two kinds of depictions, the “narrative” and the “performative”. Examples are drawn from all kinds of pictures, but focus is on world rock art, whose time depth is especially amenable to the universalist approach adopted by the paper.
Keywords: visual perception; depicted motion; rock art; perceptual psychology; neurophysiology; phenomenology; point-light experiments; representational momentum; intention; causality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dobrez, L. The Perception of Depicted Motion. Arts 2013, 2, 383-446.

AMA Style

Dobrez L. The Perception of Depicted Motion. Arts. 2013; 2(4):383-446.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dobrez, Livio. 2013. "The Perception of Depicted Motion." Arts 2, no. 4: 383-446.

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