Brown Bag Talk by Ms. Esther Wu on 14 November


Speaker: Ms. Esther Wu

Title: “Lights, camera, action – CUT! How film cuts influence eye movements”

Date: 14 November 2014, 1-2pm

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)


Film transitions are often encountered during movies. For example, one shot of a movie may be abruptly replaced by another that depicts a different time, place, or perspective. Yet, despite the large perceptual and semantic changes they bring about, film transitions do not seem to impair the experience of watching a movie very much. In this talk, I will present several studies that examined how film transitions influence eye movements and perceptual scene understanding. Following a transition, the eyes moved systematically to the center of the screen. This tendency to center the eyes increased with how much the initial scene was changed, and corresponded with viewers’ explicit awareness of the change. Additionally, the tendency to center the eyes seemed to occur automatically. Our study demonstrates the characteristics of eye movements following a film transition, and provides the scientific basis for several considerations during film editing.

About the Speaker:

Esther is a currently a Ph.D student at the Department of Psychology. Her research interest lies in how people make eye movements when viewing scenes. For her doctoral research, she has been working on eye movement models and the influence of abrupt scene transitions on eye movement plans. She holds a B.Eng from NUS, and a M.Phil in Psychology from the University of Oslo.

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