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1.26.2010

Peak Shift - James Roper

Peak Shift is something I am constantly working towards with my work and today I will share with you the work of James Roper. His paintings are amazing and very intriguing. I can not stop staring at them. This is due to Peak Shift... Take a look at his work and when you are done head over to James Ropers website to see more...







Peak Shift Principle This psychological phenomenon is typically known for its application in animal discrimination learning. In the peak shift effect, animals sometimes respond more strongly to exaggerated versions of the training stimuli. For instance, a rat is trained to discriminate a square from a rectangle by being rewarded for recognizing the rectangle. The rat will respond more frequently to the object for which it is being rewarded to the point that a rat will respond to rectangle that is longer and skinner with a higher frequency than the original of which is was trained. This is called a super stimulus. The fact that the rat is responding more to a 'super' rectangle implies that it is learning a rule.
This effect can be applied to human pattern recognition and aesthetic preference. Artists attempt to capture the very essence of something in order to evoke a direct emotional response. In other words, they try to make a 'super' rectangle to get the viewer to have a higher frequency response. To capture the essence of something, an artist amplifies the differences of that object, or what makes it unique, to highlight the essential features and reduce redundant information. This process mimics what the visual areas of the brain have evolved to do and more powerfully activates the same neural mechanisms that were originally activated by the original object.[4]

Artists deliberately exaggerate shading, highlights, illumination, etc to an extent that would never occur in a real image to produce a caricature. However, at some times many artists may be unconsciously producing heightened activity in the specific areas of the brain in a manner that is not obvious to the conscious mind. Currently, it is unknown how the visual pathways account for this.