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News Link • Entertainment: Movies

How Movies Manipulate Your Brain to Keep You Entertained

•, By Greg Miller
It takes place at the Monaco Grand Prix, where Stark is competing, and Vanko slices up Formula 1 cars like so much toast and puts the hurt on Stark, even after he dons his Iron Man suit. For a minute there, it looks like the supercharged Russian might prevail.

For viewers, it's quintessential, over-the-top Hollywood action. For scientists, it's a window into the human brain. At a recent event here hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists got together with filmmakers to discuss what both groups have learned?the scientists through painstaking experiments and analysis, the filmmakers by intuition and experience?about the mechanisms of attention and perception.

In the Iron Man 2 sequence, for example, people are remarkably consistent in where they direct their gaze. Tim Smith, a vision scientist at the University of London, presented eye tracking data collected from 75 people as they watched the clip on a flatscreen.

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