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The Kuleshov Effect: the influence of contextual framing on emotional attributions

By Dean Mobbs, Nikolaus Weiskopf, Hakwan C. Lau, Eric Featherstone, Ray J. Dolan and Chris D. Frith

Abstract

Filmmakers have long recognized the importance of editing techniques to guide the audiences ’ perceptions and enhance the impact of a scene. We demonstrate behaviorally that pairing identical faces with either neutral or emotionally salient contextual movies, an editing technique referred to as the ’Kuleshov Effect’, results in both altered attributions of facial expression and mental-state. Using functional neuroimaging (fMRI), we show that faces paired with emotional movies enhance BOLD responses in the bilateral temporal pole, anterior cingulate cortices, amygdala and bilateral superior temporal sulcus relative to identical faces juxtaposed with neutral movies. An interaction was observed in the right amygdala when subtle happy and fear faces were juxtaposed with positive and negative movies, respectively. An interaction between happy faces and negative context was also observed in bilateral amygdala suggesting that the amygdala may act to prime or tag affective value to faces. A parametric modulation of BOLD signal by attribution ratings indicated a dissociation between ventrolateral and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex for negative and positive contextually evoked attributions, respectively. These prefrontal regions may act to guide appropriate choices across altering contexts. Together, these findings offer a neurobiological basis for contextual framing effects on social attributions

Topics: fMRI, kuleshov effect, context, affect
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.948.4215
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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