Science-fiction, action, romance... While individual tastes in movies may vary, neurological responses to what happens on the screen are surprisingly consistent from viewer to viewer, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Aalto University in Finland.
Published in the latest issue of the journal NeuroImage, the study suggests that when multiple viewers watch the same film, their brain activity becomes somewhat synchronized.
The researchers showed a black and white film of around 15 minutes twice to eight volunteers and investigated how their brains reacted to the footage. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), they recorded the brain activity of each viewer as it evolved with each fraction of a second.
By comparing the records obtained for each participant, the researchers observed "synchronous activity in the early visual, posterior and inferior parietal, lateral temporo-occipital, and motor cortices, and in the superior temporal sulcus."
These areas of the brain are involved in visual stimuli, movement detection, motor coordination and cognitive function.