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Gestalt-Cognition: Outer & Inner Dynamic

Christoph Hueck (DE)


In the article Gestalt-Cognition: Percepts & Concepts it is described how Gestalt is perceived through the connection of sensory impressions and concepts. The perception of Gestalt is also a process in which the observer's outer and inner movements are involved.


When looking at a figure, the eye moves, scanning the figure with the gaze. Fig. 1 shows the eye movements of a test person when looking at a portrait.


Fig. 1: Eye-movements when scanning a figure.

Fig. 2: Inner dynamic in observation.

There are also "inner" movements that are directed towards the perceived impressions and through which they gain a stronger conciseness. What is meant by this can be observed in Fig. 2. The rider can be seen either as coming towards the viewer or riding away from him. The dynamics experienced are completely different in each case, and may be even associated with different feelings: A feeling of closeness, presence and expectation in the case of the approaching rider, a feeling of expansiveness, exhalation and farewell in the case of the one riding away. For the approaching rider, the inner feeling concentrates on the space between rider, horse and viewer, for the one riding away, the open landscape is experienced more strongly.


Such impressions and feelings are clearly connected to one's own physical self-experience. With subtle attention, it can be observed how the dynamics of the rider's movement are experienced in the area of the whole torso or even the whole body, the feelings of vastness or oppression in the area of the heart and lungs (pulse and breathing).


Besides such inner movements, other experiences are involved in Gestal perception. One also perceives the relative position of a figure in space. For example, one "sees" whether a picture is hanging crookedly on the wall or not.


When you look at a blossom, you have an impression whether it is still unfolding or already beginning to wilt. One "feels" the vitality. And finally, the optical demarcation of a figure from its background is a sublimated touching.


Thus, impressions of touch, movement, life and balance are connected to vision. These are impressions which we have through self-perception of our physical body (proprioception) and which are attributed to the senses of touch, life, movement and balance (see 12 senses).


With such inner movements, one can also follow the development of organic forms. The movements that one experiences in this process can be named transformational or metamorphic movements. Through such inner dynamic experiences of form, one can observe the formative forces that are at work in the shaping of organisms (cf. also Cognitive Feeling).


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