VISUAL THEORIES and VISUAL PERSUASION Up to this point we’ve covered: The physiology of how we see The process our brain goes through when filtering and storing images The VISUAL CUES that the brain “sees” most effectively – FORM, DEPTH, MOVEMENT and COLOR Review brain cues! +NOW: build on those visual cues and begin exploring the way we see from a THEORETICAL angle. +Several approaches that help explain the way we see and process images., developed by psychologists, philosophers, and practitioners +Some approaches are more focused on physiology, or visual sensation. *SENSUAL theorists mainly study VISUAL SENSATION +nerves’ reaction when they receive outside stimulus and send it to the brain. +All about explaining how direct or mediated images are composed of light objects that attract or repel us. *PERCEPTUAL theorists: more concerned with the WAY WE SEE AND PROCESS IMAGES +focus on the meaning we associate with the DIRECT or MEDIATED images we see. +To understand any of these approaches to visual communication — first know the difference between visual sensation and visual perception. + visual sensation: stimulus from the outside world that activates nerve cells within your sense organs. +Wood burning in a fireplace: sight smell hearing touch +Sensations: lower order, physical responses to stimuli and convey no meaning on their own +.Nerve cells in your ears, nose, hands, and eyes do not have the capacity to make intelligent thoughts. They are simply conveyors of information to the brain. +When stimuli reach the brain, it can make sense of all the sensual input. +Conclusions based on those data are almost instantaneous— brain interprets sounds, smells, temperatures, and sights as a fire in a fireplace. + Sensations are the raw data. +Visual perception is the meaning concluded by the brain after it receives visual sensual stimuli. (That was perception theory) ----------- SENSUAL Theory SUB-THEORIES – GESTALT GESTALT: Human perception is the result of all your sensory organs gathering information and sending it to your BRAIN to make sense of it. GERMAN GUY who originated this theory was named MAX WERTHEIMER and his work was later refined by visual psychologists who concluded that SEEING is the result of organizing all the sensual elements (FIRE CRACKLING) in the scene into four groups that have to do with: THE PSYCHOLOGY of what our brain does when you register a scene: FIRST “LAW” OF GESTALT has to do with SIMILARITY: -- Given a choice, your brain will select the simplest and most stable form to concentrate on.. SECOND “LAW” OF GESTALT has to do with PROXIMITY: -- The brain more closely associates objects that are closer to each other, than objects that are farther apart. THIRD “LAW” OF GESTALT has to do with CONTINUATION: The brain doesn’t prefer sudden or unusual changes in the movement of a line. It SEEKS a smooth continuation of a line. DRAW >>>>>-------------<<<<<<< FOURTH “LAW” OF GESTALT is called the FIGURE/GROUND principle: -- Has to do with how our eye groups visual information and notices one piece of an image or another (FED EX LOGO, VASE DRAWING, MINIBLINDS IMAGE). CONSTRUCTIVISM: (the second sub-theory of the SENSUAL school of thought). Trying to justify some of the GESTALT theories with fancy science. They use EYE-TRACKING machines to register the viewer’s eye movements during ACTIVE PERCEPTION. The CONTENT, SIZE, and PLACEMENT of photos on a newspaper page are more important than if the image is in color (in terms of noticeability). --------------PERCEPTUAL theory remember, is more concerned with the way we see and then PROCESS images. TWO MAIN sub-theories: SEMIOTICS and COGNITIVE. SEMIOTICS: THE STUDY OF SIGNS: What’s a sign? o Anything you see that stands for something else and has meaning to you. The MEANING behind a SIGN must be learned. If not, then not a sign. SEMIOTICS is a huge field and the semiotics of just about everything has been studied – from tourism to urban city semiotics. Urban semiotics is the study of meaning in urban form. It has been defined as: ...the study of the social meaning of spatial forms and settings. Urban semiotics involves the exploration of physical objects and their endowed meanings as mediated through a universe of signs and the symbols they evoke and convey. (Keller, 1988) SIGNS can be three types, but just know that within any image, there are parts that stand for different things for different people – like a song, no one can tell you what you like. In any case, PERCEPTUAL theorists stress that it’s more valuable – that is we gain a better of understanding of the human mind and its processes – when perception is viewed as more of a HUMAN and less of a MECHANICAL process.