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Examining the Relationship between Story Structure and Audience Response

How Shared Brain Activity Varies over the Course of a Narrative

Sara M. Grady, Ralf Schmälzle, and Joshua Baldwin

developments in media research (e.g., Weber et al. 2008 ). Within this context, an approach called inter-subject correlation (ISC) quantifies the degree to which the brains of audience members who are exposed to the same media exhibit similar or shared neural

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Neurocinematics: The Neuroscience of Film

Uri Hasson, Ohad Landesman, Barbara Knappmeyer, Ignacio Vallines, Nava Rubin, and David J. Heeger

This article describes a new method for assessing the effect of a given film on viewers' brain activity. Brain activity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during free viewing of films, and inter-subject correlation analysis (ISC) was used to assess similarities in the spatiotemporal responses across viewers' brains during movie watching. Our results demonstrate that some films can exert considerable control over brain activity and eye movements. However, this was not the case for all types of motion picture sequences, and the level of control over viewers' brain activity differed as a function of movie content, editing, and directing style. We propose that ISC may be useful to film studies by providing a quantitative neuroscientific assessment of the impact of different styles of filmmaking on viewers' brains, and a valuable method for the film industry to better assess its products. Finally, we suggest that this method brings together two separate and largely unrelated disciplines, cognitive neuroscience and film studies, and may open the way for a new interdisciplinary field of “neurocinematic” studies.

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Dramatic Irony

A Case Study in the Mutual Benefit of Combining Social Neuroscience with Film Theory

Cynthia Cabañas, Atsushi Senju, and Tim J. Smith

also to characterize individual variation. We may use dedicated analytical approaches to film stimuli to maximize its richness, such as inter-subject correlation (ISC) ( Hasson et al. 2004 ), which extracts the commonalities in neural responses across