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The Big Picture (Adventure 2)

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John Hoey

on 10 December 2016

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Transcript of The Big Picture (Adventure 2)

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/gorillas-agree-human-frontal-cortex-is-nothing-special/
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/367/1599/2130.full.pdf
https://books.google.com/books/about/People_of_the_Earth.html?id=M8lwCgAAQBAJ
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://public.wsu.edu/~rquinlan/mptoup.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://listverse.com/2015/03/04/10-of-the-oldest-pieces-of-art-ever-created/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric-art.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://www2.southeastern.edu/Academics/Faculty/mrossano/gradseminar/evo%20of%20ritual/ritual%20and%20social%20norms.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894666/
http://www.livescience.com/4427-apes-point-origins-human-language.html
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/367/1599/2130.full.pdf
https://books.google.com/books/about/People_of_the_Earth.html?id=M8lwCgAAQBAJ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://listverse.com/2015/03/04/10-of-the-oldest-pieces-of-art-ever-created/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894666/
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.gr/2012/05/vol-1-2012-contents.html#more
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/6/1889.full
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929314000516
http://noosphere-project.8m.com/doc/enoo6.html
http://public.wsu.edu/~rquinlan/mptoup.htm
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.Vxg6jUHXFN5
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.VxgkiEHXFN4
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_modernity
http://www.jstor.org/stable/827901?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
http://www.essential-humanities.net/art-overview/stone-age/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric-art.htm
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.Vxg76EHXFN5
IT can be reprocessed and refined further for return to practical use. Or...
It can be identified by someone else as a potential resource, and the whole process begins again. It gave rise to the paleolithic saying "One caveman's garbage is another's hide scraper."
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/gorillas-agree-human-frontal-cortex-is-nothing-special/
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/367/1599/2130.full.pdf
https://books.google.com/books/about/People_of_the_Earth.html?id=M8lwCgAAQBAJ
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://public.wsu.edu/~rquinlan/mptoup.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://listverse.com/2015/03/04/10-of-the-oldest-pieces-of-art-ever-created/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric-art.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://www2.southeastern.edu/Academics/Faculty/mrossano/gradseminar/evo%20of%20ritual/ritual%20and%20social%20norms.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894666/
http://www.livescience.com/4427-apes-point-origins-human-language.html
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/367/1599/2130.full.pdf
https://books.google.com/books/about/People_of_the_Earth.html?id=M8lwCgAAQBAJ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://listverse.com/2015/03/04/10-of-the-oldest-pieces-of-art-ever-created/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894666/
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.gr/2012/05/vol-1-2012-contents.html#more
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/6/1889.full
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929314000516
http://noosphere-project.8m.com/doc/enoo6.html
http://public.wsu.edu/~rquinlan/mptoup.htm
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.Vxg6jUHXFN5
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.VxgkiEHXFN4
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_modernity
http://www.jstor.org/stable/827901?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
http://www.essential-humanities.net/art-overview/stone-age/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric-art.htm
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.Vxg76EHXFN5
IT can be reprocessed and refined further for return to practical use. Or...
It can be identified by someone else as a potential resource, and the whole process begins again. It gave rise to the paleolithic saying "One caveman's garbage is another's hide scraper."
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/gorillas-agree-human-frontal-cortex-is-nothing-special/
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/367/1599/2130.full.pdf
https://books.google.com/books/about/People_of_the_Earth.html?id=M8lwCgAAQBAJ
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://public.wsu.edu/~rquinlan/mptoup.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://listverse.com/2015/03/04/10-of-the-oldest-pieces-of-art-ever-created/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric-art.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://www2.southeastern.edu/Academics/Faculty/mrossano/gradseminar/evo%20of%20ritual/ritual%20and%20social%20norms.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894666/
http://www.livescience.com/4427-apes-point-origins-human-language.html
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/367/1599/2130.full.pdf
https://books.google.com/books/about/People_of_the_Earth.html?id=M8lwCgAAQBAJ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://listverse.com/2015/03/04/10-of-the-oldest-pieces-of-art-ever-created/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894666/
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.gr/2012/05/vol-1-2012-contents.html#more
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/6/1889.full
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929314000516
http://noosphere-project.8m.com/doc/enoo6.html
http://public.wsu.edu/~rquinlan/mptoup.htm
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.Vxg6jUHXFN5
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.VxgkiEHXFN4
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_modernity
http://www.jstor.org/stable/827901?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
http://www.essential-humanities.net/art-overview/stone-age/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric-art.htm
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.Vxg76EHXFN5
IT can be reprocessed and refined further for return to practical use. Or...
It can be identified by someone else as a potential resource, and the whole process begins again. It gave rise to the paleolithic saying "One caveman's garbage is another's hide scraper."
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/gorillas-agree-human-frontal-cortex-is-nothing-special/
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/367/1599/2130.full.pdf
https://books.google.com/books/about/People_of_the_Earth.html?id=M8lwCgAAQBAJ
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://public.wsu.edu/~rquinlan/mptoup.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://listverse.com/2015/03/04/10-of-the-oldest-pieces-of-art-ever-created/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric-art.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://www2.southeastern.edu/Academics/Faculty/mrossano/gradseminar/evo%20of%20ritual/ritual%20and%20social%20norms.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894666/
http://www.livescience.com/4427-apes-point-origins-human-language.html
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/367/1599/2130.full.pdf
https://books.google.com/books/about/People_of_the_Earth.html?id=M8lwCgAAQBAJ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Dissanayake
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://listverse.com/2015/03/04/10-of-the-oldest-pieces-of-art-ever-created/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894666/
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/zoology/members/eilam/documents/NBR302006.pdf
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.gr/2012/05/vol-1-2012-contents.html#more
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/6/1889.full
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929314000516
http://noosphere-project.8m.com/doc/enoo6.html
http://public.wsu.edu/~rquinlan/mptoup.htm
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.Vxg6jUHXFN5
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.VxgkiEHXFN4
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_modernity
http://www.jstor.org/stable/827901?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
http://www.essential-humanities.net/art-overview/stone-age/
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric-art.htm
http://ancientplanet.blogspot.com/2013/03/vol-4-2013-preview-contents.html#.Vxg76EHXFN5
IT can be reprocessed and refined further for return to practical use. Or...
It can be identified by someone else as a potential resource, and the whole process begins again. It gave rise to the paleolithic saying "One caveman's garbage is another's hide scraper."
Adventure 2
Why we feel what we see.

My career has been creating visual languages of color, intensity and shape, along with an alignment to context, that then has to be understood immediately by the observer. I've also been able to see how adjustments to certain elements of the visual language affected a change in the perception of the observer. There are some consistencies no matter who the observer is, and others that are unique to certain cultures or locations. What I would like to do is to establish our own vocabulary to understand this a little more.
With the overview as a guide to help frame the possible evolution of various languages, specific larger individual/social contextual paths can be examined. I would prefer to call these paths "adventures." I'm not saying that I know the answer or where we are going, but it will definitely be an adventure...
Adventure 1
How abstract thought and ritual coalesce to ultimately create what we define today as theater.

Adventure 3
Evolution of visual symbols and precursors to written language

Adventure 4
The FOXP-2 chromosome as a potential influence on language adaptation reflected in visual languages.

From the visual process that has just been explained, one of the things that can be derived is that our response to the presence of light is positive on an instinctual level. Conversely, the response to the absence of light causes typically non-positive reactions. Because of this genetic predisposition, and guided by eons of social reinforcement, the learned response is typically favorable towards objects and images of lighter value (higher luminosity), while areas of perceived lower light (lower luminosity) will cause tension or concern. An observer, no matter where they originate, will typically strongly empathize with what they perceive as a higher luminosity, unless a strong set of learned responses counteract it.
With this understanding, I would like to examine if a learned response system can develop that counters the negative reaction to certain visual stimuli.
Though the time period being viewed (paleolithic through the neolithic) we can see the rising ability to discern primal responses from learned responses. Human history, especially since anatomically modern humans have come on the scene, is a constant modification of those learned responses. Along with imprinting on an individual level from numerous influences, a larger societal imprinting has nearly always been communicated through a more pronounced ritual based language. By examining ritual as an extension of a social consciousness, we can see how it is effectively used to support and disperse these learned responses.
Perhaps the most basic visual perception is for light and dark. Both cause different inherent responses in most living creatures. For our purposes we'll refer to it as a shape or object's "luminosity." (Its intrinsic brightness or volume of light being perceived.) We'll see how this becomes an underlying influence on everything else we see.
Through the duration of human history there have been constant modifications to the eye. The evolution of "color perception," completely linked to the changes in human phototransduction system, allows for a more and more articulated color response. Each color in its basic neural processing involves different stimuli, both positive and negative.
The second step to consider is shape recognition and context. From the simplest proportion to advanced movement, angle and depth perception, the human mind's ability to comprehend shapes (and parts of shapes) is unequaled. This comprehension coupled with memory becomes the library of neural images and responses that are the keystone for advanced synthesizing languages of many kinds. The identification of perceived shapes has both positive and negative reinforcement, depending on contextual associations.
Let's consider these three very basic perceptions as our Primal Visual Response (PVR). This is the way in which our physiological systems react based on visual sensory input. Think of this as our instinctual reaction to a visual stimulus.
Learned Visual Response (LVR) is then what we do with our primal response. It is the complex symphony of responses that initiates based on how we've learned to react. This conditioning is done on many levels starting at birth, and continues throughout life.
More to follow....
To do this, I'm going to alter the viewpoint a little so it's something more in my vocabulary. I would like to take an approach inspired by William Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." For our purposes I'll rephrase it like this...All the universe is a stage, and all the men and women are merely of the same stuff which moves, causes and reacts in the same way as everything else.
Not that what we see in the universe is illusion (well....). Take theater as a point of view or a symbolic perception of what is really there. Everything that most of us knows comes from what we see with our eyes. The next statement may be slightly technical but should show a little of the significance of our perception.
What I've done is created a 3D virtual "theater" space. Consider this a view port into the theater of the universe, so to speak. We'll look at what our observer to the right sees and how the primal visual response (PVR) merges with the learned visual response (LVR).
Our visual process is based on our utilization of wavelengths on the electromagnetic scale from about 400-750 nanometers. So a total of around 350 nanometers, more or less. Compared to the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum, the proportion between what we see and what we don't see is .000000000000000000000000003.5% (I think I got all the zeros right). Imagine looking at the rainbow of visible light colors on your screen right now. If that screen is all that we see, what we don't see would be a line of computer screens that would stretch to Jupiter. And that's just the EM spectrum without including the other 93% of what the universe is made of.
(There is far more to this existence, and us, than meets the eye. The next time you feel that you aren't being seen for all you are, now you know by how much.)
We'll look at this theater from what the eyes see....
...to how the brain processes the visual information and how it reacts.
Act 1- It's all so black and white...
And to do this, I'll continue to borrow on a classic structure- the 5 act Shakespearean play.
Here, our observer is viewing the simplest of visual references. It is the exposition that the rest of the play will be based on. The PVR draws the eye to the areas of highest luminosity, while at the same time to the areas of highest contrast. Then depending on the LVR the observer will react to that basic information. What is the seeming reality in Act 1 isn't always the actual truth. I use a term called "verisimilitude," or the appearance of truth. The reaction that we are encouraged to have is often just a continuation of the natural response to the base visual information we receive. And like most things in the beginning we are also only aware of presence or non-presence, especially when trying to identify the relationship of self to ourselves.
Act 1 scene 2- ...but not all that it seems.
Act 2- Things take shape.
When light enters the eye, the rods capture individual photons and start a structural and chemical change that generates a neural current back to the visual cortex. This current causes an excited state through the processing centers. Cones detecting no light maintain their chemical arrangement and send out a continual stream of inward neural current known as dark current. These two currents, dark and light, not only trigger different visual responses, their very act of processing creates two different chemical responses. This evolutionary predisposition will favor sensory input with as much light or luminosity as possible, from total field of vision input to individual increments within the visual field.
The initial neural signals make their way back to the visual cortex located at the back of the brain.
Visual Cortex
Visual Cortex
This is your brain (when looking at something). This is a scan of the back of the brain and the neural activity in the visual cortex areas when the eyes receive sensory input.
A first distinct difference in processing and perception is observed when there is a difference in contrast. A value scale is used to show the incremental gradation of steps from lower luminosity to higher. Humans can see about 30 different steps. What's shown is a value scale in 10 steps with context to a high luminosity and a low luminosity background. Areas of lower contrast happen at both ends of the scale.
When observing a visual field of lower contrast, there is lower brain activity. If the visual field contains higher contrast the level of activity in the visual cortex increases dramatically, as well as other areas of the brain depending on the information being processed. The scan on the left corresponds to observation of a lower contrast field and the right with higher contrast. In this scene also, light is evenly distributed throughout the space just at a lower intensity for the lower contrast image.
What is the first appearance of reality at the beginning of the play takes a twist in the second scene. Not just are there the extremes, we're now made aware of the degrees of separation between them.
Over eons, reoccurring patterns become defined as certain shapes with each mind that has its own potential meaning. Basic shape silhouettes are the initial entries in our library of visual symbols. Elaborate sets of primal, and then learned, responses follow each shape, building to three dimensional and complex shapes. In Act 2 we begin to create our own understanding of the language of shapes in three dimensions and through the contextual reference of the fourth dimension (time).
The above images show extruded versions of some basic shapes to illustrate the elongation of two dimensional into three dimensional form. Into the evenly distributed light of this theatrical world I've added a single light source that hits the subjects, the volumetric shapes, at an angle. Our mind is able to assess the perceived shadow and formulate where in three dimensional space the source of light is, as well as more precisely where the subject is in relationship to us. The eye is drawn to these shadowed areas as they provide the most amount of information. Note in the image on the left that because of the low luminosity background, shadows from the objects are difficult to discern and critical information, like height, is difficult to determine.
Eventually certain shapes tend to resolve into higher priority shapes, depending on the learned visual response to them.
In whatever version of silhouette we see, there is a hierarchy of shapes typically dominated by our instinctual response to identify the human form first, followed by any contextual learned responses. We want to be able to discern the wolf from the sheep.
In our own little theater/universe the "light" is evenly distributed across the side walls, floor, backdrop, and the space in between. Here, the square in the middle has a color with a very low luminosity and absorbs the visible light so no photons make their way to the eye. The field of vision starts to combine two different responses to the two extreme stimuli. Whatever the LVR to an expansive field of high luminosity, focus is difficult to maintain as the eyes typically move all around the center square area.
Here the base colors are reversed with exactly the same volume of light to reflect back to the eye. With the proportional change in photon dissipation, a new feeling emerges. Focus is typically easier to maintain on the center square.
In this environment the light is evenly distributed on both the grey scale and the walls/background.
http://www.cns.nyu.edu/~david/courses/perception/lecturenotes/light-adapt/light-adapt.html
This image is from a great paper by David Heeger. He explains in much more detail and also provides formulas to help quantify visual perception/response relationships to perceiving contrasting luminosities.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4280203/
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnins.2014.00127/full
Some other models and formulas that express this can be found at -
Act 2, scene 2- The peril and the insight
For this section I want to introduce a neutral human form. I'm approaching this as presenting a "costume" that was as globally recognizable as possible, be appropriate for our purposes, but also not conjure up too many negatives. Not an easy thing to do in this day and age. After lengthy internal debate, I've decided on one. It is simply a costume that anyone can wear, but still represents our perception of a relatively human form.
In this act our existence based on our visual perception is considered. As Hamlet considers the truth and temporalness of his own existence, our own reality is examined. The base sensory input that goes into the PVR and LVR are best exemplified in our recognition of the human form and its relationship to our own projected self.
So I've chosen the Imperial Stormtrooper (George Lucas please don't sue me). Viewing this figure placed in different contexts will help us identify our responses to luminosity and contrast. Not that this costume represents a hero or a villain, but by seeing it in simple value contrasts will show us a great deal.
The form is close to our own and is recognizable, in part, by our ability to recognize articulation of the form and shape through the contrast between light and dark.
In this uniformly lit environment with light mostly coming from above, as in most naturalistic situations, our mind's perception of this figure provides information about shape, identity and distance/relationship to us through analysis of the shadows. And as shown earlier, the higher the contrast the higher the activity (information being processed) in the visual cortex.
Now let's view this same visual form, but adapted slightly. There has been no change to the volume or proportion of the lighting, nor has the entity wearing the costume changed, but there has been slight modifications to the exterior to create a gradation of luminosity.
The initial Stormtrooper figure (on our far right) is considered nominal, or zero, in terms of color. Each figure to the left represents a 10% addition of pigment until the figure on the far left which is 100% above nominal.
Here are the visible differences in contrast caused simply by changes in the exterior value.
For an example of this human grey scale in a less extreme background. Here the background is a lower value blue to allow an easier differentiation between figure and background.
Each individual is still recognizable as a human form (for the most part), but from the very beginning of visual perception, starting with the volume of photons being received to our initial analysis of contrasting areas, the typical tendency is to favor the form with higher luminosity and areas of higher contrast. In most of our stories, characters like the White Knight emerge as the good guy, and the Black Knight is the bad one (and also fair game for Monty Python).
A Stormtrooper in its natural element...the wilds of space.
Again the light distribution is the same, and the background is simply an image. But when posed with associative conjecture of assigning positive or negatives to each form, studies (including my own experiences) will show that favorability will nearly always be shown to that which has a higher luminosity factor. As we've just examined, the physical processes that govern our perception start to affect our response stimuli the instant the photon meets the eye. The same basic instinctual response that determines reaction to the simpler objects we examined, applies (for the most part) to the complex form of the human body. And our understanding of other bodies, determines the story of our own.
Listen and watch closely to what is being shown. It is an insightful and well written article, but certain aspects and reactions are phrased in a way to make sense within a certain social paradigm.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/13/doll.study/index.html
No matter how hard we've tried, things both good and bad will be exposed. While we've learned to identify the shape of the wolf, sometimes the wolf wearing the human's clothing makes their presence known. Whether it's Richard III or MacBeth, it's typically something awful that calls into action the Henry V's and the McDuffs. As playwrights adhere to Newtonian physics, for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. The good and the bad are both typically human and our distinction between them is based on numerous contexts and perceptions.
Act 3- Evolution and Devolution
http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/127/12/2703
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_cortex
As these figures are being observed, the mind analyzes facial and familiar aspects to the form. Along with increased activity in the visual cortex, the fusiform gyrus lights up when looking at faces and familiar (known) objects. The different areas of the brain work together to process what is being looked at and its relationship to the observer.
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00018/full
Added light
Added light
This begins a new phase of evolution. Originally, mammals saw things in more of a monochromatic spectrum. Not necessarily white, more of a cyan (around 498 nanometers), or from an artist's point of view... similar to the perceived base color of sunlight. It's similar to the color of lightning and arc welding. In movies, it's the color of that bright light on the trees or buildings in the background, or of that light flooding through a window. In the theater, if it's not an arc source, it's a gel color known as L201 (made famous by the genius lighting designer Jennifer Tipton). It is a color, and a color temperature, that people nearly always respond to in a favorable way, or refer to as beautiful. It resonates in our perception on a level unlike most others. We existed in this monochromatic world for eons, until different cones developed in the eye. As shown by Shozo Yokoyama, the ground work for the production of the components of color vision is genetic and common to many species. When it's made use of at different time periods is the difference.
http://wolfcrow.com/blog/notes-by-dr-optoglass-the-human-eye-part-iii/
Quick (temporary) cut to the point....
Cones developed to respond to different wavelengths, Short (blue as a generalization), Medium (green) and Long (red), to offset the wavelength perceived by the rods at 498nm.
The fovea is basically the center of our retina and the center of what we see. In the fovea, physically, there is a tighter density and distribution of cones. When we want to concentrate on something we look directly at it. This is because the center of our field of vision that falls on the fovea gives us much more information about color, luminosity and definition than does the surrounding peripheral field.
"The signal from the retina is analyzed by nerve cells (retinal ganglion cells), which compare the stimulation of neighboring cones, and calculate whether the light reaching a patch of cones is more blue-or-yellow, and red-or-green. Next, the signal travels to the brain where it is divided into several pathways - like fiber optics branching throughout the cortex. For example, visual signals from the photoreceptors pass to retinal ganglion cells, which code color information, and then to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) in the thalamus, and onwards to the primary visual cortex. The primary visual cortex (known as V1) preserves the spatial relationships of images on the retina. This property is called retinoptic organization."
http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/1C.html
The above illustrate the different combinations that come from the basic constructs of neural information referred as "blue," "yellow," "green," and "red." Each one has it's own coding as it's initially processed, and initiates a different response on a cellular level. Even at the most primal level each color has its own deep representational meaning and response structure.
Think of it another way...what we think of as blue and yellow have a connection in their processing, and red and green have commonalities in their neural pathways. Blue and yellow, at their base level, have to do with perception of light in the sky and the correlating Circadian rhythm. The development of red and green may correspond to color indicators for food (variations of ripe fruit), blood, and even the ability to read another's flush response. Until the deliberate manipulation of colors by mankind, blue and yellow basically represented intangible light, while red and green helped identify tangible things in life.
Here our cast is in the same evenly lit space. Against a low luminosity background each of the colors are processed in a different way to the point that certain colors become more present in our field of view. It appears that the red and the amber Stormtrooper are ever so slightly closer to us, and that the green and the blue are maybe a little further away.
In this act the illusion of seeming vs. reality evolves in unexpected ways. The world expands through added color and characters. What we saw at the beginning in black and white now really starts to twist as our learned language may supersede our primary response. This act gives us such divergences as Banquo's ghost, Deputy Verges in "Much Ado About Nothing," and Hamlet's play within a play. The same basic rules of what takes visual priority stay the same, but now extra wavelengths are added to what can be seen, and whose counterpoint create a desired response in the system, compounding the potential interpretations.
There's an old adage that I always use that says "warm colors advance and cool colors recede." I use that idea compositionally, but it's also the reason why school buses, important street signs, and quarterbacks in practices typically have a warm wavelength to them.
Now with a high value background, each color still has vibrancy but, because of the visible shadows on the ground we can discern their true physical relationship to each other and to us. They are aligned front to back as precisely as a $3000 CAD program can align them. Still,if you can concentrate on just the forms and not the shadows, you can let your mind move them in space even though you know they are equal.
Now notice how the vibrancy of the same colors appears with a red background....
....to green...
.....to blue.....
An other old adage in theater is that cool colors are for tragedy and warm are for comedy. This is because we typically perceive a short wavelength like blue as something less present and calming in a way. Studies have shown that when people are exposed to these wavelengths they tend to be more receptive to information presented.
...to amber.
See....this is funnier. Studies also show that when exposed to warmer wavelengths our energy tends to increase. (A throw back to the long ago when the warm color shift of the sun rising and setting initiated an excited state.) But too much exposure may over stimulate the system and a negative reaction may occur.
Theory put into practice...
In my recent lighting design for a production of "Rumors" by Neil Simon at Bristol Riverside Theater I used the ideas of cool colors not only receding, but as a possible communication aid in the narrative sections, that would then by comparison emphasize the comedic sections which would shift to a warmer spectrum to help boost the audience's energy. I was trying to do with lights what George Burns did with his cigar. The timing is critical. The perceptual change has to occur during the moment, not afterward, so the mechanics of making it happen has to be anticipated and planned.
This is my 3D CAD visualization of the lighting design ideas in a virtual environment with the theater, set and lights. The human forms are meant to be generic and not indicate any character or scene. (With the exception of Neil Simon who is standing center stage.)
In this design the performance area was viewed as one space, and the background scenery as a framing device. While keeping the lighting in the performance area fairly consistent, the mood and audience's engagement in what was being presented could be changed by simply changing the wavelength of the frame. The changes had to be precisely timed to anticipate the audience reacting to something we hoped would be considered funny.
In real life it looked like this. The light on the actors is relatively the same in the image to the right as their plots and machinations to protect their friend, and misunderstood gunshot or two, have gotten out of control and the police are now at the door. The frame is lit in a cooler palette to draw the audience into the scheme.
And when the police, on a collision course with wackiness, enter to find everyone dancing to "La Bamba" the frame has shifted to a longer wavelength to help boost the audience's empathy (hopefully to the point of laughter).
From a more typical audience point of view, here the characters are framed in cool for a more narrative section.
Then warmer for a series of jokes the are the literary equivalent of a Mohammad Ali combination straight punch.
Here, during a 5 minute long monologue, the cool frame provided focus on the performer and hopefully puts the audience in a neural state that would allow a better engagement during the narrative.
And just before the end the frame shifts to a warmer color to help underscore the realized absurdity of the situation, and help elicit the (hopefully) tumultuous audience laughter.
https://www.quora.com/How-can-we-see-images-in-our-minds
https://www.quora.com/How-can-we-see-images-in-our-minds
The same areas of the brain excited when discerning faces and familiar objects are also activated when perceiving colors. The basic neural input of wavelength and luminosity start in the visual cortex and then moves to other areas to be analyzed and compared. This initial connection and communication, as well as the basic library for pattern recognition, may be so common to most humans that it is anticipated that before long the contents of our visual imagination can be reconstructed and "read" from scanned images of the brain.
Once the relationship is understood, multiples can be seen as continued iterations of the same theme. Shape and color are still responded to the same way, and then become the building blocks for higher level responses.
"...the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red."
Shakespeare gave us two new words in this one, and an eloquent literary interpretation to a changing color paradigm; the green seas changing as the blood from his hands turns them red.
Act 3, scene 2
This is where we add the language of Act 1 with our new language. The same neuro-response system for higher luminosity combines with the response system for different wavelengths. The human eye can determine about 10 million different colors. Each one is a combination of red, blue or green (or amber in light), and with varying degrees of high, low or mixed luminosity. That's it. That's the basic formula of everything we see, and yet we still can discern 10,000,000 variations. And each one has its own micro perception/reaction, then compounded by learned visual responses and context.
This where a good playwright like Shakespeare presents information to make the audience aware that there is a much larger world beyond what we've seen. There are glimpses of it, but it hasn't coalesced yet.
The center figure is pure saturation, and the five on either side are additions of white or black in 20% increments.
Micro-reactions occur as we look at each figure, processing luminosity (and affinities based on PVR and LVR), contrast, shape (familiar or not), and wavelength perception. And this is just variations on red.
And blue.....
...and green.
I'll do amber when I have more rendering memory
And now with a simple change of context, notice the change of perception to the same objects.
Another way to think about contextual color is like harmonics; sounds produced by combinations of other sounds, that may or not be entirely realized. How does this combination affect you compared to...
....this. All that has been changed is the color of the background. But now the context has created a new harmonic of responses. For many of us the associated learned response may be one to danger, envy, or Christmas. Others' responses may be to prosperity or reverence.
Here, the entire context is shifting. The same change of perception and associated reactions are simple in this form, but the same base response continues into every different iteration.
Different colored Stormtroopers with mirrors or water as a background.
(Just for fun...)
Changes in the background again change the perceived vibrancy of the other colors. The shapes and colors start to create a visual swirl as the eyes move around the image responding to the changes of wavelength.
And each base color in a position or proportion relative to us excites a slightly different response system.
The truest color context for framing the primaries is something similar to daylight, or cyan. It is the median wavelength that the others evolved around.
With just simple variations to the framing color, notice how the eye is drawn to different figures.
And in a slightly different way with blue. With each variation, the visual harmonics change also.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...How about any other color?
Something to consider.
When we see something like this rose in real life, our mental perception is the final step of a long process. For the longest time our eyes relied on photons of light created in the heart of the sun that took millions of years to make it to the surface, minutes to get to earth, and a millionth of a second to reflect from an object to our eyes. Now that we can make our own photons the timeline is a little shorter, but the process is still the same. Light, comprised of all our perceived colors and their corresponding wavelengths, emanates from a source. Think of variations in wavelength as variations in a resonance or frequency. One big grand musical chord souring through through the air. When it hits an object like a rose, the molecular composition of the petals has its own natural resonance. The carbons and the tetrahydros and the metylpropenyls and cyclohexines all combine a little differently, and their electron fields create their own natural vibration. Each petal is a symphony of these vibrations. The wavelengths of visible light are absorbed (in a number of ways) by molecules with like resonance, the energy of the photons actually being absorbed by the molecule's electrons, and the wavelengths that don't fit are reflected back. Of the visible spectrum of light, the petals of a rose absorb all wavelengths of light except a vibrant red (long wavelength), the stem and leaves absorb everything except green (medium wavelength). What is reflected becomes our perception of the rose. But think of it another way, the molecular composition of the rose absorbs the frequencies of light of like resonance and the unlike colors bounce away. What we are seeing is the OPPOSITE of what the object is. The red petals are really everything except red. We see the negative color.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_(electromagnetic_radiation)
https://www.dartmouth.edu/~chemlab/chem6/dyes/full_text/chemistry.html
http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/light/Lesson-2/Light-Absorption,-Reflection,-and-Transmission
Meh....why not.....?!
Act 4- The calm before the storm
In this act numerous factions are starting to form. Like the absorption of photons by molecules of like resonance, things in the universe attract other things of like frequency, including humans and the characters of our play. What has been learned by our processing of basic luminosity, shape and color associations builds a large "trigger" library of initial impulses. Excited neural states are created from PVR input, but also by the growing LVR library. And unless we're raised completely devoid of social contact, we tend to identify in a positive manner with what we consider to be like us.
As we add value scale to the primary colors, the mind begins to add another hierarchy to it's perceptions. It will essentialize visual categories based on importance of self. There are varying degrees of accepted presence other than self. A limited view sees self and very few things which are essentialized. A higher visual acuity may discern a more complex interaction with a higher presence of many other things besides self.
Guided by our PVR, each individual LVR has different responses to the arrangement of Stormtroopers above depending on things like personal reaction to color and the proportional groupings of colors.
Just by switching the color of the surrounding frame, our mind draws new connections based on it's response the new visual harmonic.
Even in these random groupings, the mind automatically draws inferences and tries to relate the information back to the understanding of self. And with just a shift of framing color, all those inferences are changed slightly as new patterns emerge.
And now as the frame becomes more complicated, the cacophony of visual information starts to become more apparent. Even in a random arrangement, things that are perceived as familiar appear. When the brain perceives a pattern that it considers similar or like to us, a unique set of responses happen.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4069357/
http://music.miami.edu/programs/mue/Research/etrama/web/sepa.htm
These responses are very similar to what happens to the brain when hearing music. Multiple areas of the brain work together, starting with the different areas of the visual cortex. What appears to be random is discerned and cataloged by the brain.
As this act draws to a close, we're at the point where we've learned the temporal language of this play's story. Our mind's very perception of what we consider reality has been altered. Just like the way we identify with things that are like and familiar, we have varying degrees of rejection to something unfamiliar or or unlike. But throughout the course of the play, the good playwright allows the observer/audience to make their own connections in the constant quest for a reflection of self.
This is a great article about cataloging brain function as it views certain things.
And this has to do with different parts of the brain and their function together with certain stimuli.
Act 5- True colors fly
For our purposes the examination of a uniting costume or uniform will be explored. Regardless of who the person underneath is, the design of the shapes and colors on the exterior typically becomes the highest essentialized input. It is often the key factor in determining the relationship to self. Depending on the LVR, the reaction to this relationship/distance, factored by the priority (presence) of self, moves humans to the highest levels based on this acquired perception. From wars to great celebrations, and everything in between, our manipulated language of symbols informs us to what is good and bad. And information typically starts with anything helping to identify other human forms. A constant flow of minute visual input triggers micro-reactions with everything that's been seen in the last four acts. But now we learn from these reactions, for better or worse.
Looking closer we see certain combinations of symbols and colors that literally move millions of people at a time. And just as the armies establish and prepare for battle in Shakespeare, humans do the same based on similar symbols. We'll forgo Stormtroopers for a while, and look at some crudely drawn specifics in our own galaxy.
This arrangement of colors identifies two great rivaling houses with followers around the globe.
Even like colors, articulated slightly differently, brings about lifelong commitment from impassioned followers
Liverpool/Manchester United
Brazil/Argentina
Ohio State/Michigan
If you ever visit my family, be careful of which of these two symbols you might wear.
But what happens when we see this...
If you're fans or supporters of the gentlemen on our right, there is something like an adrenalin rush as so many symbols essentialized as like and familiar are perceived. Often so much of a rush that the mental ratio of self to surrounding world may become distorted.
If you're a supporter of the lone gentleman on our left, what little positive neural-response there was at the sight of the familiar symbol, is greatly outweighed at the proximity of so many non-positive symbols.
Now the situation is reversed. Even if the observer has no idea of the teams represented by these uniforms, tiny micro-perceptions change our reactions ever so slightly, which then get magnified and compounded depending on the individual ratio of self to rest of the world.
Now what are the reactions to this?
MacBeth tells us
"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
Not just a cute picture...
We feel empathy because of these mirror neurons. By seeing something removed from the self, our brain still "feels" it in a way that evokes the real thing. When seeing another person in distress, for example, our brain identifies and shares the experience to some extent. Then a continued reaction may be to apply the concept of help or aid, especially if the individual(s) are considered of value.
What you see happening is the base primal function, the essence, of what makes a good act five. The image is of a Macaque monkey imitating a human sticking its tongue out. There has been much discussion of "mirror neurons" since the recent discovery of their function. Basically, neurons (or a type of neuron) which are active when one performs a basic task or sees a real object, are also active when observing the same task or representational images.
Besides a good last act, this ultimately allows for many higher neurological functions, as well.
And given the complexity of the human neural systems more advanced concepts develop based on this principle.
We can learn from observing others reacting to a similar stimuli, or doing the same task, and conversely be able to teach in the same manner, whether it's realized or not.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron
http://kyb.mpg.de/fileadmin/user_upload/files/publications/pdfs/pdf2078.pdf
http://gallantlab.org/brainviewer/huthetal2012/
http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct05/mirror.aspx
When we see a brilliant touchdown or goal, that same empathetic response makes us feel like we achieved it as well, or are there observing first hand. That coupled with the identification of like symbols, their proportion and proximity, and perceived relationship to self, is why we cheer when our team does well. But this same empathetic response is why our week is ruined if they don't.
http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/fossils/shanidar-1
This is a skull of an ancient Neanderthal, who was buried in the caves of Shandihar, Iraq, a millennium before modern man appeared. The bones of this adult male showed numerous remodeled (healed) injuries that dated back to his childhood. Some of them were so extensive, including a smashed skull on the right side, there is no way a solo individual could have survived for long. It was only through the care given by the immediate community that allowed him time to heal, with the forethought that he would again be a functional value in the community again.
This is the continued concept of compassion, which is built on positive empathetic response guided by reaction to identifying symbols, informed by the immediate LVR, combined with a deliberate decision affecting the long term. It is the concept of compassion that continues to advance as the mind does, and separates our higher brain functions from most other animals.
From sport to story telling, this idea of empathetic response based on mirror neurons function continues and branches out into two unique directions, among many others...
Aristotle was the first to name the idea of catharsis, or the emotional purification that happens to the observer when witnessing a work of art, or a movie, or a play, etc., that creates in them a resolution based on the consideration of imagined experiences and actions. If the audience is able to see themselves represented in some way, the empathetic response links the brain even further into the story, partially experiencing it on a neural level.
This catharsis is intrinsically woven into a good storyteller's composition, and when the observer empathizes and lives the experiences to a certain extent, proper self examination is given and emotions can be put into a proper balance. In a tragedy, for example we can learn by seeing the outcome of misguided decisions, and hopefully not repeat them ourselves.
In the last act we reach a sense of enlightenment, hopefully. The learned language of colors and shape leads us to the point where, as in this current act of the story of mankind, we begin to manipulate them to our own use. For the most part, no other animals rework simple colors, let alone create their own languages with them. The arrangement of certain colors and shapes moves people on a global level.
"This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
Or, in the language of this story...
The microcosm of the motion of the larger universe, our perpetually rising sun, floods the world with light just as it will way past our time here. And all of our perceptions based on the photo-transduction process, and our learned visual response, have caused very adverse actions previously, and we should be wary of that course of actions. Our awareness of this current state of existence is so limited it belittles the world and universe we are in. And because of that skewed view, certain priorities become distorted in the essentialization process, causing a misdirection of energy potential in this all too brief current manifestation of carbon, water and organic compounds. This flawed response mechanism limits the ability to determine reality, allowing a disproportionate priority put on raw visual and aural input data that misinforms epic decisions, that in reality are...
Signifying nothing .
Or in our story...
Whoever shares this experience will be uniquely bonded either in this existence or the next. The simple mention of its name will create intense neural response, especially those who experience a favorable outcome. The uniqueness of the experience bond, often symbolized by red, will create an analogous relationship so positive that those whose only exposure is through narrative will wish for a fuller neural reaction.
Seriously....
Or this?
This is the point in our play where the protagonist and the antagonist come face to face. Sometimes their roles have changed in our minds. As Birnam Wood is coming to Dunsinane Hill, MacBeth's perception of every symbol is now negative to self. His growing insight into the truth of his reality, and impending armies about to engulf him, leads him to a profound but pessimistic explanation of the quantum state of the human condition.
But when viewing similar odds, Henry V is able to use this empathetic reaction, along with long term multi-modal neural connections, in a positive way to rally his followers.
And the rest is silence.
Hamlet- Act 5, scene 2.
http://gallantlab.org/brainviewer/huthetal2012/
What at first seems like a random collection of shapes and colors is scanned and processed in microseconds, determining the visual language. The natural instinct is to bond favorably with composite shapes that are considered like, and unlike is given a null-value or often negative reaction. This inclination when enhanced by supportive responses and empathetic social mores has taken humankind to new heights. This inclination when guided by divisive intentions, whether intentional or not, plays on the stronger tendency to intensely reject anything other that which is highly prioritized to self.
As this act closes, a good playwright makes us understand the duality of any resolution by seeing the languages involved. Each subtle curve, every change of color has been identified as part of a language. And by comprehending the language, the observer has greater insight, both through experience and the empathetic/cathartic process. On one scale, it's an evening's performance. On a micro scale, the process is repeated millions of time with every single glance or thought. On the larger scale it informs, to some extent, nearly all cultural perceptions and mores.
Nearly every area of the brain has been mapped to correspond to what we see, hear, and even think.
This base inclination becomes a root factor in all decisions following. That, coupled with post-visual cortex functions and socially reinforced responses to advanced visual stimuli, informs nearly all human decisions.
As this deceptively pivotal act draws to a close, the playwright makes us aware of the depth of the weave of some relationships. Instinctual reactions couple with generations of learned cultural responses, ensuring that rarely do two individuals have the same response to more complex visual stimuli. But even though the reactions may vary, the base language remains the same. Neural activity expands from the visual cortex and enters a region of the midbrain called the substantia nigra/ventral segmental (SN/VTA). From there our magnum opus, the frontal cortex, helps set further hierarchies and reaction patterns. But is also gives us the ability to edit information, assess a more specific set of stimuli, recall and plan like no other species, and even change reaction protocol.
http://lifehacker.com/novelty-and-the-brain-why-new-things-make-us-feel-so-g-508983802
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