The Empathic Screen: Cinema and Neuroscience

ISBN : 9780198793533

Vittorio Gallese; Michele Guerra; Frances Anderson
256 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Why do people go to the movies? What does it mean to watch a movie? To what extent is the perceived fictional nature of movies different from our daily perception of the real world?
We live in a time where the power of images has strongly invaded our everyday life, and we need new instruments and methods to better understand our relationship with the virtual worlds we inhabit every day. Taking cinema as the beginning of our relationship with the world of moving images, and cognitive neuroscience as a paradigm to understand how the images engage us, The Empathic Screen develops a new theory of film experience, exploring our brain-body interaction when engaging with and watching a film. In this book, film theory and neuroscience meet to shed new light on cinema masterpieces, such as The Shining, The Silence of the Lambs, and Toy Story, and explore the great directors from the classical period to the present.

Taking a radical new approach to understanding the cinema, the book will be fascinating reading for cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, and film and media scholars.


1 Embodied Simulation: A new model of perception
2 Stilted Movements and Improbable Stares
3 Camera Movements and Motor Cognition
4 Cut and Harmony
5 Face and Hands
6 New Mediation, New Films, New Experiments


Vittorio Gallese, MD and trained neurologist, is Professor of Psychobiology at the University of Parma, Italy and Adjunct Senior Research Scholar, Dept. of Art History and Archeology, Columbia University, New York, USA. Cognitive neuroscientist, his research focuses on the relation between the sensory-motor system and cognition by investigating the neurobiological and bodily grounding of intersubjectivity, empathy, language and aesthetics. He is the author of more than 200 scientific publications and two books.
Michele Guerra is Professor of Film Theory at the University of Parma. Authors of more than one hundred publications among articles and books, his work mainly focuses on the relationship between cognitive neuroscience and cinema, American and Italian film history. He is an Associate Editor of the film journal Fata Morgana, and member of the Scientific Board of Cinergie, La Valle dell'Eden, and Arabeschi.