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The Perception of Depicted Motion

College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University, Retired, 9 Blair Street, Watson, Australian Capital Territory 2602, Australia
Arts 2013, 2(4), 383-446; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts2040383
Received: 27 August 2013 / Revised: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 November 2013 / Published: 10 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Collection World Rock Art)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: visual perception; depicted motion; rock art; perceptual psychology; neurophysiology; phenomenology; point-light experiments; representational momentum; intention; causality visual perception; depicted motion; rock art; perceptual psychology; neurophysiology; phenomenology; point-light experiments; representational momentum; intention; causality
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Dobrez, L. The Perception of Depicted Motion. Arts 2013, 2, 383-446.

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