Posts Tagged ‘cognition’

On non-invisible music

Fractal expert Loren Carpenter brought my attention to a technical paper that found evidence that the distribution of shot lengths in cinema have been steadily evolving over the past 100 years to exhibit a 1/f power distribution.Your first question is probably, “what the hell is a 1/f power distribution”. And your second question is probably “why do  you have a photo of a hot girl on this post if you’re just gonna be talking about math?”  Ummm… Let’s start with the first question. It’s easier. (waving hands) It’s a distinctive pattern that seems to crop up all over biology, physics, nature and art, and there’s increasing evidence that this pattern is hard wired into the way our neurons fire. (stop waving hands). As for the second question… well,  uhhh… Let’s talk a bit about the paper first.

I find two interesting bits in this paper. First, since the entire art of cinema is only 125 years old, you can actually analyze its evolution from the earliest experiments on film. This paper claims that in just  few generations, editors and directors have unconsciously gravitated towards a film cutting style that we are neurologically wired to prefer. (Perhaps since it more closely mimics the natural rhythms of our eyes, how frequently we dart and change focus.)  However, the paper admits that other issues such as narrative, plot, and close ups of attractive people in revealing bathing suits will trump even perfectly neurologically correlated editing techniques.

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Mar 2010