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Psychological Science Talks

12.02.2016 | Associate professor Annette Bohn

Dato ons 16 mar
Tid 14:15 15:45
Sted Aarhus University, Lecture Theatre 455, building 1342

What happens in your head when you sit down in the movie theatre and the lights go out? Professor Jeffrey M. Zacks gives an interesting and surprising lecture on how movies can affect us and give us some of our most vivid experiences and lasting memories. How come movies have the ability to reshape our emotions and worldviews, even though we know it is just a movie? Some of the answers will surprise you!

Professor Jeffrey M. Zacks from  Washington University in St. Louis gives this interesting and surprising lecture based on his book Flicker: Your Brain on Movies

How is it that a patch of flickering light on a wall can produce experiences that engage our imaginations and can feel totally real? From the vertigo of a skydive to the emotional charge of an unexpected victory or defeat, movies give us some of our most vivid experiences and lasting memories. They reshape our emotions and worldviews—but why?

In this talk, Jeff Zacks will draw on the history of cinema and the latest research in neuroscience and psychology to explain what happens in your head when you sit down in the theatre and the lights go out. Some of the questions he will take on are:


  • How can mere images make us flinch, laugh, cry, tap our toes?
  • What’s the difference between what happened in a movie and what happened in real life—and can we always tell the difference?
  • How do our brains process film editing?

Whether you are a fan of films, of neuroscience or psychology, some of the answers will surprise you!

Professor Zacks' laboratory studies how the representations in the brain and the world work together in cognition. He studies perception and cognition using behavioral experiments, functional MRI, computational modeling, and testing of neurological patients. One line of research examines how people parse the continuous stream of behavior into meaningful events, and how this affects memory and cognition. Another line examines how mental imagery contributes to reasoning about spatial relations, especially how mental representations of one's body are updated during imagery and reasoning.

Learn more about Jeffrey M. Zacks

The seminar is free and open for all who are interested. No registration is necessary. You just show up! We look forward to welcoming you!

Find your way to building 1342


For further information, please contact:

Annette Bohn
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences - Con Amore
Bartholins Allé 9
building 1350
, 425
8000 Aarhus C


Tags: Movies, mental processes, psychology, neuroscience, films, film editing, memories, emotions, movie theatre, perception, cognition