«Eisenstein/ Vygotsky /Luria’s project: Cinematic Thinking and the Integrative Science of Mind and Brain»: Julia Vassilieva

Introduction

When Sergei Eisenstein died on the 11th of February 1948, a post-mortem examination was conducted to establish the cause of death. His body was subjected to a dissection and his brain was exposed, measured and photographed. The photographs of Eisenstein’s brain were kept by his friend of thirty years, neuropsychologist Alexander Luria, who would show them to his students to illustrate the asymmetry of the brain’s hemispheres. Eisenstein’s brain featured a dramatically enlarged right hemisphere, which is responsible for visual images and spatial information processing, while his left hemisphere was of a normal size.[1] This striking image provides an apt illustration for one of the most challenging and enduring intellectual projects at the intersection of film theory, psychology and philosophy: that of trying to understand how mind, brain and cinema interact. It was also a postscript to Eisenstein and Luria’s scientific collaboration, which at various stages included the…

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