About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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Brain Waves

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March 11, 2004

This is Your Brain on Movies

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Neuroesthetics is emerging fast and the entertainment industry should wake up and learn. Here is Luiz Pessoa's perpective on this cutting-edge research in this week's Science:

"When two people watch the same movie, are their brains activated in the same way?" More specifically, "To what extent do all brains work alike during natural conditions?

The results reveal a surprising tendency of individual brains to "tick collectively" during natural vision. The intersubject synchronization consisted of a widespread cortical activation pattern correlated with emotionally arousing scenes and regionally selective components."

Would the brain activity of individuals be more similiar, or less, if the individuals were on Ritalin or something else? This sounds like an experiment for Rodolfo Llinas.

Update: Psychscape on Reel Psychology

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuroesthetics


1. Mark Plus on March 14, 2004 8:39 AM writes...

I was wondering just the other day about using brain scanning technology to see what happens when people watch Mel Gibson's "Passion." It seems to me that Gibson unconsiously hates Jesus, and in a kind of massive Freudian slip projected his hostility onto the screen. The film has succeeded because it accidentally plugs into the audience's forbidden and repressed wish to beat the crap out of their deity.

An fMRI study could determine whether people's neurological responses to this movie don't match up with what they confabulate about their reaction, since it's not socially and psychologically acceptable to say that you don't like or love your god.

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2. Robert Thanepohn on March 15, 2004 9:30 PM writes...

I just found this site and have yet to fully see what it contains, but perhaps you could answer a question or perhaps I will spawn an idea for you. I am interested to know if there is research currently being done to see if the brain can be triggered through external electromagnetic stimulation to "see" or "hear" artificially thereby bypassing the normal receptors (the eyes and ears). This seems quite feesable and with the development of the technology involved could result in allowing disabled individuals the use of senses that they currently do not posses. Taking this idea along a similar path, can we read the electromagnetic waves produced by neurons in specific areas to allow "communication" directly from the brain? I see this as not only a way for the disabled to be connected to society, but as a way for more powerful and instantaneous computing. If you could respond to my email address I would sincerely appreciate it.

Thank you,
Robert Thanepohn

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