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Alfred Hitchcock, Your Brain, and DARPA

Why is DARPA paying academic researchers to study how Hitchcock suspense films and Clint Eastwood westerns light up our brains?

By |June 13th, 2012|

More Neurocinema: Brainy Film Festival

The Topanga Film Festival in Southern California (July 28-31) will include a number of neuromarketing features. Seven neuroscientists will discuss film imagery and its effect on conscious and subconscious processes in the viewer’s brain. […]

By |July 1st, 2011|

Synthetic Fear: How to Make a Scary Movie

Over the years, movie-makers have tried to go beyond what’s on the screen to scare theatergoers. In the 1950s, director William Castle startled those viewing his horror films, notably The Tingler, with gimmicks like vibrators installed under some theater seats. When the creature escapes into a theater in the movie, Vincent Price’s voice warns the viewers that the Tingler is loose and tells them to scream. At this moment, the theater projectionist would activate buzzers under the seats of a few people in the audience, often eliciting the desired screams.

Smell-O-Vision was another attempt to go beyond the screen by inducing odors at appropriate points, but technical flaws ruined its 1960 debut and it was abandoned. Infrasound, very low frequency audio which humans don’t consciously perceive, has been used in movies to amplify audience fear.

While we haven’t seen 1950s-style panic-inducing creativity lately, neuroscience may be close to giving today’s directors an even more powerful tool: […]

By |August 3rd, 2009|

Movie Mind Control

It’s no surprise that movies can light up the brain. After all, they can surprise or frighten us, makes us laugh or cry, create suspense, and much more. What IS interesting from a neuromarketing standpoint is that different directors, content, and styles have a big influence on whether the brain activity of the viewers is similar or dissimilar. […]

By |June 10th, 2008|