The horror, the horror –
“The whole brain is responsive to a potential threat, at the expense of anything else.”
/ There’s a demonstration behind you! Patrick Wilson starred in Director James Wan’s (film Insidious , one of two films used in a recent MRI study on fear . Blumhouse Productions when we watch horror movies, our brains are hard at work, with lots of interconnected cross-talk between different regions to anticipate perceived threats and prepare to respond accordingly. This enhances our excitement while watching, according to scientists at the University of Turku in Finland. Researchers used an MRI to map the neural activity of subjects while the subjects watched horror movies. Their findings are described in a recent paper published in the journal NeuroImage.
according to co-author Matthew Hudson, now at the National College of Ireland in Dublin, the objective was to take a closer look at dynamic interactions in the brain during an intense emotional experience. Most prior studies on neural mechanisms have adopted a binary approach, in that the focus is on comparing two conditions. But this ignores the temporal dynamics between the two conditions — the continuous fear response.
Hudson told Ars, “We wanted to use a naturalistic stimuli and new ways to analyze neural data to try and understand exactly how the fear response changes over time “rather than simply comparing brain activity before and after a perceived threat. Horror movies provided the perfect fear-inducing stimulus.
To select which (movies to use in the study, the Finnish team set up an online survey of popular horror movies —Selected based on their IMDb ratings — and 653 “filmoholics” evaluated the films based on how scary they were, their quality, and their popularity, as well as gathering data on how often people watched horror movies and what kinds of horror they Found the scariest. (Psychological horror based on real events was rated scariest, along with unseen or implied threats.) The researchers also tallied the number of jump scares in each movie (courtesy of the wheresthejump database).
Ultimately, the team selected the (film) (Insidious) and
and 38 respectively), plus not many people who took the survey had seen those films. That ensured that test subjects would be experiencing the films for the first time while in the scanner — compared to more famous films like Jaws () 2016) or
Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) Lambert find a bloody handprint on their son’s bed in
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