Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Embodied VisionsEvolution, Emotion, Culture and Film$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Torben Grodal

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371314.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 September 2020

Character Simulation and Emotion

Character Simulation and Emotion

(p.181) 8 Character Simulation and Emotion
Embodied Visions

Torben Grodal

Oxford University Press

The chapter discusses how viewers simulate films, for instance by means of mirror neurons that induce viewers to simulate characters, and discusses the different theories about how we experience other minds. It analyzes how film viewing activates visual, acoustic, and emotional brain modules that are sealed off from higher mental mechanisms that evaluate the reality of visual input. The brain’s basic mode is to believe in and to simulate fictional and mediated worlds and characters, whereas higher-order cognitive functions try to diminish or suspend this basic belief. The chapter discusses several modes of film experience, from distanced observation to immersion. It argues that the problem with many rival theories of film viewing compared with a simulation theory is that they rely on erroneous ideas of how we experience everyday life and provide impoverished descriptions of the viewer’s experience. These theories rely on third-person emotions such as pity and admiration and exclude how films induce central first-person emotions such as love, hate, and fear.

Keywords:   character simulation, mirror neurons, empathy, immersion, viewer distance, narration modes

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 .