Brain cells in the visual cortex respond primarily to 4 qualities of images - color, form, depth and move- ment - termed visual brain cues. These cues are foundations in the architecture of our brain, part of how we naturally gather knowledge, and in human evolutionary history likely played a role in our species survival and success. They prime us to quickly detect distinctions and differences, to separate and select objects or images from background or surroundings.
The 4 Key Visual Cues That Spark Brain Response.
1. Color captures interest and signals contrast. Warm colors, comprised mainly of red, orange and yellow, are vivid in nature and tend to advance in space, so we notice these first. Cool colors, largely of green, blue and violet, are soothing in nature and tend to recede.
2. Form defines outside edges, relief against camouflage or light on dark, from which we quickly discern patterns leading to image recognition.
3. Depth gives sense of space, size and perspective, so we experience “closer” as “larger” and “ farther” as “smaller.”
4. Movement heightens attentiveness, insists on being followed, and when implied using blur or wavy lines, leads the eye and induces feelings of motion.
So why bring up these 4 visual cues?… simple put, photographers who fully understand and use these visual cues are often referred to as “Having the Eye for Photography.”
*Excerpt from a case study by the The UW Eye Research Institute.