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March 18, 2019 Monday 02:22:59 PM IST

Acting Less Demanding Than Being Our 'Self'

Teacher Insights

A new research finding by neuroscientists have shown that acting reduces brain activity compared to being our own 'self'.

In a study done using functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) by neuroscientists Ye Yuan, Steven Brown and Peter Cockett, it was found that acting a role led to decrease in brain activity especially in the cortical midline network of the frontal lobe.  The university students who became volunteers in the study were trained in method acting. They responded to a series of hypothetical questions acting as Romeo (boys) and Juliet (girls) in the Shakespeare's drama. Character portrayal in a drama or movie causes 'loss of self' thus shutting off parts of the brain.

People play different roles in life-mother, homemaker, daughter, professional role or father, son, son-in-law, job roles but they are different from acting in a drama or movie where you adopt the behaviour, emotions and gestures of the character assigned to you. The new research underscores the importance of examining method acting and its influence on our brain activities and how best it can be used for improving learning processes.


Source: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.181908

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