How is it that a patch of flickering light on a wall can produce experiences that engage our imaginations and 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? This talk draws 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 theater and the lights go out.

  • Jeffrey M. Zacks, Associate Chair, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Professor of Radiology, Washington University

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