Human ResponseLet’s talk about the human response to images. What happens neurologically when we see an image? How does this affect our outward response? First, we identify the subject matter. Then, we get confused. Our brains work to process what our eyes are seeing. What is in the background? What color is it? Is that a cat? It happens quickly, but once we figure out the background, color, and the fact that – no, that is not a cat, it is a skunk – we get closure on the initial confusion. The closure triggers the pleasure centers of the brain, remedying the confusion. Now that we have identified the image, we determine the meaning of the image by accessing and relating memories and emotions with what we see. There are three types of emotions that images awaken: emotional, mental, and social.
- Emotional: From anger to amusement to grief, the full range of emotions can be expressed and received through images. Images can create a connection between you and your audience that digs deeper than just a white piece of paper.
- Mental: Educating, informing, and challenging. Visual information is easier to absorb than text, so adding pictures makes people more inclined to believe what they see.
- Social: Social responses can be cultural across generations, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender; the world is one big limitless audience, and images have an enormous impact on how the content is perceived by communities