The authors propose a new conception of the mechanism that occurs during a narrative-based art experience—the “Act of Fiction.” They claim that there is no “suspension of disbelief” but rather something more similar to our decision-making systems, enabling us to simultaneously be present in the real and the unreal (fictional). The article’s first part contains a narrative account in which an Act of Fiction takes place; it exemplifies what it also describes. The second part provides an analysis of this phenomenon through a review of current literature and our position on it. The third part proposes an outline for a primary examination of what might be happening in the brain in the experience of an Act of Fiction. The authors conclude by suggesting directions for future research.

You do not currently have access to this content.