Scientific Visuality of ‘Scanner Darkly’

May 25, 2008

It always feels a bit (re)assuring if I find some scientific proof for a theory. In this case, (the movie ‘Scanner Darkly’) it is suggested that the reason why the movie was made with the help of the cinematic technique, called rotoscopy (invented by Max Fleischer in 1914), is that the viewer be able to experience the way how a drug-addict would perceive the world.

What was more fascinating is to have read about an experiment orchestrated by Raymond Mar, a neuroscientist at the University of Toronto,whose team has found out that the human brain decodes ‘real’ footage and ‘animated’ footage. If the non-animated version was shown to the subjects during the session, the brain’s superior temporal sulcus and the temporal parietal junction were more active, whereas the animated version triggered the bilateral orbtofrontal cortex(OFC)-which have proven two facts: the neural mechanisms differ from what we perceive as more ‘real’ and the other is that in a way the movie did prove its accuracy aiming at the worldview of a drug-addict.

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