Support Aeon

‘Aeon provides me with high-quality, stimulating and unique content, and this deserves my support.’

Neda M, Australia, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

ORIGINAL

Strange continuity: why our brains don’t explode at film cuts

7 minutes

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

Before the emergence and rapid proliferation of film editing at the dawn of the 20th century, humans had never been exposed to anything quite like film cuts: quick flashes of images as people, objects and entire settings changed in an instant. But rather than reacting with confusion to edits, early filmgoers lined up in droves to spend their money at the cinema, turning film – and eventually its close cousin, television – into the century’s defining media. It would seem that our evolutionary history did very little to prepare us for film cuts – so why don’t our brains explode when we watch movies? Adapted from an Aeon essay by the US psychologist and brain scientist Jeffrey M Zacks, this Aeon Video original explores why our visual experience has much more in common with film editing than it appears to at first glance.

Director and Editor: Adam D’Arpino

Producer: Adam D’Arpino, Kellen Quinn

Writer: Jeffrey M Zacks

Narrator: Karl Miller

Animator: Ermina Takenova

Music: YACHT, Dave Depper

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on
Facebook
Like

‘I believe it’s increasingly important to support accessible scholarship and aspirational ideas.

Thinking people can no longer afford to be alone.’

Christine T, USA, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is hands down my favourite publication to write for. Deadlines long enough to do the work justice, the best editorial input I’ve encountered and compensation which is respectful of writers’ time.’

Antonia Malchik, essayist and editor

‘Thought-provoking, eclectic, open-minded and user friendly.

Aeon is like no other site on the internet.’

Larry D, UK, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon, for me, continues to be one of the best places to spend a quiet afternoon, in the company of some of the most brilliant minds around.’

Shivam C, India, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is my favourite online magazine.

I have found no other place that so regularly provides interesting, clear and informative articles across academic disciplines on topics that matter.’

Dr Robert J. Hartman, University of Gothenburg

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Essay/
Mental Health
When the self slips

Individuals living with depersonalisation disorder bring vivid insight to the question of whether the self is an illusion

Anna Ciaunica & Jane Charlton

Essay/
Love & Friendship
Buddhists in love

Lovers crave intensity, Buddhists say craving causes suffering. Is it possible to be deeply in love yet truly detached?

Lisa Feldman Barrett & John Dunne