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Science on Screen®: THE BABADOOK

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Science on Screen®: THE BABADOOK

Part of Science on Screen® 2019.

Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her “out of control” six-year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both.

When a disturbing storybook called The Babadook turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son’s behaviour, is forced to medicate him.

But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.

The Science of Fear

Post-screening discussion and demonstration on the science of fear from David Zald, Cornelius Vanderbilt professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University and director of Vanderbilt's Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. After the film, a lucky audience member will be hooked up to psychophysiological recording equipment, which will monitor their body’s reaction to fear (during a short, specially selected clip), followed by a live analysis of the results by Zald.

About the Speaker:
David Zald, PhD is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, where he also directs the Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience for Undergraduates. Zald’s primary research aims to understand how the brain processes emotion and how individual differences in specific brain circuits are related to personality, emotional experience and mental health problems.

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