Movies are made for the viewer to have an enjoyable experience while sitting back and relaxing. With a plethora of movie options such as Romance, Comedy, Action, Science Fiction and much more, there is bound to be a movie that pleases everyone. Many think Hollywood producers come up with genius storylines that captivate every viewer right from the beginning of the movie till the end. These producers however are not geniuses, they simply play with the science that makes up the human brain. Between how the eye views the light waves from the movie screen to how the brain is able to process the information from the rolling tape, watching a movie involves much more science then the average person would assume. The eye is argued to be the strongest muscle in the human body. It is essential when trying to see the outside world, humans use this muscle every second of their waking day.
The movie experience starts with light that bounces off an object and then the human eye is able to see the light through light waves. The light waves first go through the cornea leading to the pupil, which is able to change its size allowing different amounts of light in with the help of the iris (Gazzaniga 163). Suppose there is a human watching the movie that they happen to enjoy thus far, their pupils will dilate allowing more light in. Another key part of the eye is the lens, which also changes its shape in response to the environment. The cornea is the part that is most responsible for being able to see because it allows in the light whereas the lens just helps make the picture clear. If the cornea is responsible for allowing in light waves, then there has to be a part that takes the light waves and changes them into a signal. This all happens in the retina which is in the back of the eye, the retina has rods and cones that take these waves and change them to signals. These rods and cones also have different special capabilities that enhance the eye, for example rods work in low light which helps in the dark. These signals then go to a neuron called ganglion cell that fire action potential and send signals to the brain to be understood (Gazzaniga 165). All of this happens while humans are just enjoying the feature film that is playing.
If the same events happen in every humans eye and the brain, then one might think every movie experience should be the same for everyone. That however is not the case, every eye is seeing the same thing but the brain processes things differently. There was a study done in Israel where a bunch of people watched the first thirty minutes of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, while Uri Hasson and Rafael Malach, both neuroscientists, hooked the test subjects to an MRI of the brain. Their results showed that in the beginning of the movie most occipital, temporal, and parietal lobes all were very similar across the board. However things started to differ in more advanced areas of the brain such as the supramarginal gyrus, the angular gyrus, and prefrontal areas. The supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus is a part of the brain where perception is brought together and the prefrontal area is where one gets their emotions and intellectual understanding (Holland 2009). This being said, yes the same picture is being shown on the screen for anyone to see but the results of the movie differ from each person’s own personal understand. This explains why some might think a movie was confusing where as others followed the movie and enjoyed it. These different experiences are all due to how each brain is able to process and decode information brought in through the eye.
With the understanding of how the eye is able to see and how the brain is able to process, that only leaves how the body reacts to what was seen and processed. If watching a comedy, many people laugh, when watching a movie that is sad many cry, when watching a love scene many blush. Taking the blush as an example, when a person blushes it is their personal way of hiding their face due to shame or embarrassment. A movie viewer might get caught up in the love story and find themselves emotionally involved throughout the movie. Blushing occurs when adrenaline is released from your body, due to an emotional trigger. Adrenaline is secreted from adrenal glands and causes increased heart rate and breathing. When adrenaline is released, it causes more blood to flow which comes up to the face causing the face to turn red (Lamia 2014). That blush that is on the viewers face, was that brought about by a sense or a perception? The answer is simply both, due to the fact that a sense is the reason a viewer was able to see anything. As discussed, the eye and light waves are changed to signals through a long process. That being said, due to the scene of sight these light waves are able to be perceived. Perception on the other hand, takes everything that the senses bring in and filter the more important ones in and the less important ones out. A huge part of perception is being able to organize and code the outside world in order for the brain to understand what it is viewing. Perception can be deceitful sometimes, because as stated before, our perception is based on prior experiences. With that in mind sometimes a person can preserve something wrong (Keenan 2018). Think of the senses as a camera with a microphone attached, they capture everything. Then think of perception as a very educated editor being able to trim the footage captured by the camera, and knowing what is important enough to keep based on their prior experience with editing (Denworth 2014). Technically speaking, sense and perception go together, so that blush that was on the viewers face is both due to a senses and a perception.
In the end, senses and perception are very important key points in the everyday life. Even when humans are relaxing, watching a movie the brain is always working in order to understand what is presented in front of them. With the eye working correctly, the brain processing correctly, sense and perception working together, all these little factors can cause a blush during a movie. That is why when the love scene came on, the viewer found themselves blushing, due to all the little parts that make up receiving and understanding information.
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