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Horror Movies Manipulate Brain to Enhance Excitement: Study

Know why people get goosebumps while watching horror movies

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Horror Movies
Finnish researchers mapped neural activity as study participants watched horror movies, and found that our brains are continuously anticipating and preparing us for action in response to threat. Pixabay

Do you know why some people like to watch horror movies like ‘The Conjuring’ despite the scare and frequent shouting episodes? If we ask researchers, this is because scary flicks manipulate brain expertly to enhance excitement.

Finnish researchers mapped neural activity as study participants watched horror movies, and found that our brains are continuously anticipating and preparing us for action in response to threat.

“Horror movies exploit this expertly to enhance our excitement,” said researcher Matthew Hudson from University of Turku, Finland.

People found horror that was psychological in nature and based on real events the scariest, and were far more scared by things that were unseen or implied rather than what they could actually see.

Horror Movies
People found horror movies that were psychological in nature to be very interesting. Pixabay

The researchers first established the 100 best and scariest horror movies of the past century and how they made people feel.

Firstly, 72 per cent of people report watching at last one horror movie every six months, and the reasons for doing so, besides the feelings of fear and anxiety, was primarily that of excitement.

“Watching horror movies was also an excuse to socialise, with many people preferring to watch horror movies with others than on their own,” the findings showed.

While all movies have our heroes face some kind of threat to their safety or happiness, horror movies up the ante by having some kind of superhuman or supernatural threat that cannot be reasoned with or fought easily.

The research team at the University of Turku, Finland, studied why we are drawn to such things as entertainment?

People found horror that was psychological in nature and based on real events the scariest, and were far more scared by things that were unseen or implied rather than what they could actually see.

The team discovered two key findings.

“The creeping foreboding dread that occurs when one feels that something isn’t quite right, and the instinctive response we have to the sudden appearance of a monster that make us jump out of our skin,” said principal investigator Professor Lauri Nummenmaa.

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During those times when anxiety is slowly increasing, regions of the brain involved in visual and auditory perception become more active, as the need to attend for cues of threat in the environment become more important.

“After a sudden shock, brain activity is more evident in regions involved in emotion processing, threat evaluation, and decision making, enabling a rapid response,” said the researchers. (IANS)

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“I Have Had an Iconic Journey”, Says Legendary Bollywood Actress Zeenat Aman

As an actor, I have had an iconic journey and was fortunate enough to have worked with some really wonderful directors. I was delighted when Ashutosh Gowariker offered me the role of Sakina Begum," Zeenat said

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Zeenat Aman
"As an actor, I have had an iconic journey and was fortunate enough to have worked with some really wonderful directors", Says Zeenat Aman. Wikimedia Commons

Bollywood diva Zeenat Aman says she had an iconic journey as an actor, and was fortunate to work with “some really wonderful directors”.

The actress was last seen on the big screen in a brief role in Ashutosh Gowariker’s magnum opus “Panipat”.

As an actor, I have had an iconic journey and was fortunate enough to have worked with some really wonderful directors. I was delighted when Ashutosh Gowariker offered me the role of Sakina Begum,” Zeenat said.

“He is a brilliant filmmaker and we had worked together in the past as co-stars in a film titled aGawahi’. I usually don’t do such roles, but my character really captivated me and I immediately said a yes. My character lives within the confines of her kingdom, aloof from the politics of the region till Sadashiv Rao turns to her for help in the battle of Panipat,” she added.

Zeenat Aman
Bollywood diva Zeenat Aman says she had an iconic journey as an actor, and was fortunate to work with “some really wonderful directors”. Wikimedia Commons

The film is based on the third battle of “Panipat” that was fought between the Marathas and Ahmad Shah Abdali, the Afghan emperor, in 1761. The film will air on Zee Cinema on February 29.

It also stars Padmini Kolhapure as ‘Gopika Bai’.

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Talking about her role, she said: “I always wanted to work with Ashutosh Gowariker because of the interesting ways in which he depicts stories in his films. Returning to the big screen with his film in such a royal look was a very exhilarating experience for me… It was nostalgia for me to work with Zeenat again on the big screen. I had a wonderful experience working on ‘Panipat’ with such talented co-stars.” (IANS)