We all knew reading Kafka made us cool, but smarter? The study quoted below says yes! If you read the whole article what it points out is that if one is exposed to nonsensical information, the brain seeks to find patterns in the environment to bring order to the confusion. This might explain the power behind juxtaposition in montage, in particular the kind that Eisenstein wrote about. Through the collision of images, new meaning comes into existence, but the added twist is the importance of the context in which this mind explosion occurs.
According to research by psychologists at UC Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia, exposure to the surrealism in, say, Kafka’s “The Country Doctor” or Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” enhances the cognitive mechanisms that oversee implicit learning functions. The researchers’ findings appear in an article published in the September issue of the journal Psychological Science.
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“What is critical here is that our participants were not expecting to encounter this bizarre story,” he continued. “If you expect that you’ll encounter something strange or out of the ordinary, you won’t experience the same sense of alienation. You may be disturbed by it, but you won’t show the same learning ability. The key to our study is that our participants were surprised by the series of unexpected events, and they had no way to make sense of them. Hence, they strived to make sense of something else.”