Haunted house science: You don’t need gore to terrify, if you know the brain
WBUR - 10/30/2015
“You can be really artful about how you scare people without a lot of gore,” says Northeastern University professor Lisa Feldman Barrett. “And I thought, well, who better to do that than a lab that studies the science of emotion? We can use research to predict what the effects will be, to make it super-scary without a lot of blood and guts.”
Barrett leads the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Lab at Northeastern and Massachusetts General Hospital. For the last 10 Halloweens, she and her family have created a haunted basement in their Victorian home, helped by her lab colleagues — grad students, post-docs and other researchers who play monsters for the night.
Some of their scare techniques may not seem to differ much from those of amusement park haunted houses, but they’re devised by neuroscientists who live and breathe the brain.