Early cinema and cognitive creativity

Investigate the experience of early cinema in relation to the cognitive impact of analogue and digital film projection technology

Up to now, there has been very little attempt to recreate the technological conditions of cinema exhibition in the early period and none at all that aims to link these conditions with the perceptual and cognitive dimensions of experience. There is considerable evidence in the form of brain wave recordings suggesting that the human visual system accommodates its operating frequency to that of the stimulus. Given that brain rhythms are also thought to be widely responsible for moderating cognition, it therefore follows that a flickering stimulus has the power to alter and direct our cognitive state. In this project I aim to devise an ambitious methodology that combines media archaeology and electrophysiology in exploring the different perceptual experiences resulting from different moving image technologies.


Mark-Paul Meyer; EYE Film Institute, Netherlands; Identify and gather archival material, investigate current presentation techniques

Bas Agterberg; Institute for Sound & Vision, Netherlands; Identify and gather archival material, investigate current presentation techniques

Research Fellow
Guy Edmonds

Michael Punt, Martha Blassnigg, William Simpson (Plymouth University), Roger Malina (UT Dallas), M.P. Meyer (EYE Film Institute), Bas Agterberg (Institute of Sound and Vision)

Further Reading
  • Blassnigg, Martha. 2010. Revisiting Marey’s Applications of Scientific Moving Image Technologies in the Context of Bergson’s Philosophy: Audio-Visual Mediation and the Experience of Time. Medicine Studies. Volume 2 (3) Springer, pp. 175-184. DOI: 10.1007/s12376-010-0049-x.
  • Punt, Michael. 2010. Accidental Machines: The impact of Popular Participation on Computer Technology. IN: The Designed World: Images, Objects, Environments, Victor Margolin (Author, Ed), Dennis Doordan (Author), Richard Buchanan (Author, Ed), Dennis P. Doordan (Ed). Oxford: Berg. pp. 167-1882009. Transtechnology research doi:10.2307/1511829