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Free public talk about how your brain reacts to movies

Tuesday 16 January 2018 5:24pm

How is it that a patch of flickering light on a wall can produce experiences that engage our imaginations and can feel totally real?

From the vertigo of a skydive to the emotional charge of an unexpected victory or defeat, movies give us some of our most vivid experiences and lasting memories. They reshape our emotions and worldviews—but why?

In this talk, visiting Professor Jeff Zacks from the Washington University in Saint Louis, will draw on the history of cinema and the latest research in neuroscience and psychology to explain what happens in your head when you sit down in the theatre and the lights go out. Some of the questions he will take on: How can mere images make us flinch, laugh, cry, tap our toes? What’s the difference between what happened in a movie and what happened in real life—and can we always tell the difference? How do our brains process film editing?

Whether you are a fan of films, of neuroscience, or both, some of the answers will surprise you.

Prof Zacks is an experimental neuroscientist and Associate Chair of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Washington University in Saint Louis.

His book Flicker:Your Brain on Movies (2014) is one of the first books on film-making by a brain scientist. It explores how filmmakers have learned to take advantage of the tricks our minds are already playing on us in real life.

Free public lecture
Monday 12 February 2018
5.30pm- 6.30pm
St David St Lecture Theatre, University of Otago

For more information please contact Jane Reynolds, Administrative Assistant, Brain Health Research Centre 479-4066