This introductory chapter begins by setting out the purpose of the book, which is to describe the experience of viewing visual fiction and the way in which this experience is created by the interaction between fiction and viewer. It proposes that cognitive and perceptual processes are intimately linked with emotional processes within a functionally unified psychosomatic whole. Because visual fictions are experienced in time, a description of the interaction between cognition and emotion will be concerned with temporal flow. The theories and models for describing the flow of experiences must be brought together from several disciplines: film theory, first and foremost; and general aesthetics, narrative theory, neuroscience, physiology, and cognitive science. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.
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