Do you ever feel like your eyes are glued to the screen whenever you are watching a scary movie? There is now evidence to support that your brain really can get lost in the suspenseful music, dark images and dramatic characters that make up scary movies.
According to a recent study by the Georgia Institute of Technology, watching clips from Alfred Hitchcock movies and other suspenseful movies affects audiences’ brains. During tense, high suspense moments, the brain was proven to narrow what individuals saw and allowed them to focus on the story. During moments of lessened tension, viewers focused less on the center on the screen and more on their surroundings.
The Science Behind Brain Activity & Suspenseful Movies
For this study, researchers had participants lay down in an MRI machine while watching scenes from 10 different suspenseful movies. The movies played in the center of the screen and a flashing checker board pattern appeared around the sides. During the beginning of the movies, there was an ebb and flow of brain activity in the calcarine sulcus. During high suspense moments, brain activity in the calcarine sulcus decreased and brain activity in the central processing areas increased. This means that we increase our processing of important information and ignore visual content that doesn’t matter to us during high suspenseful moments in scary movies.
So, if you’ve ever felt lost in the story while watching a suspenseful movie, there is now science to prove that scary movies can literally give us tunnel vision. If you have other questions about how the eyes and brain work while processing different kinds of information, give the eye care specialists at Raleigh Eye Center a call.