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Thread: Horror film gene that makes some scream while others laugh

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Horror film gene that makes some scream while others laugh

    Scientists say different versions of a single gene linked to feelings of anxiety can explain the way in which some people simply cannot abide such movies, while others enjoy the suspense and the gore.
    The findings may explain why it is that over the past 35 years people have had wildly different reactions to the classic horror film, The Exorcist.
    While many screamed and some even fainted in cinemas at scenes of spinning heads and shaking beds, others simply laughed.
    A particular variant of the 'COMT' gene affects a chemical in the brain that is linked to anxiety, they have found.
    People who have two copies of one version of the gene are more easily disturbed when viewing unpleasant pictures, the scientists discovered.
    That version of the gene weakens the effect of a signalling chemical in the brain that helps control certain emotions.
    The scientists found that those carrying two copies of it were significantly more startled by frightening images than others.
    By contrast, those who had one copy of the gene and one copy of another version were able to keep their emotions in check far more readily.
    The study, published today (MON) in the scientific journal Behavioural Neuroscience, also found that those with two copies of the latter gene were also able to keep a lid on their anxiety more easily.
    Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany made the discovery after testing 96 women.
    Then they showing them three different types of pictures - emotionally "pleasant" ones of smiling babies and cute animals, "neutral" ones of items like electric plugs or hairdryers, and "aversive" ones of weapons or injured victims.
    The Exorcist was banned by some councils in Britain upon its release here in 1974, but broke box office records in the US to become the biggest selling horror movie of its day.
    Psychologist Christian Montag, one of the University of Bonn researchers, said he thought the gene variant linked to scaring more easily had only recently evolved, as it was not present in other primates like chimpanzees.
    He said the propensity to scare more easily could have offered an evolutionary advantage to humans.
    While bravery appears to be prized in the animal kingdom, recklessness could have been a disadvantage to humans with their larger mental capacity to go away and figure a problem out.
    Mr Montag said: "It was an advantage to be more anxious in a dangerous environment."
    However, he said a single gene variation could account for only some of people's anxiety differences, otherwise, up to half the population would be anxious, he said.
    "This single gene variation is potentially only one of many factors influencing such a complex trait as anxiety," he said. "Still, to identify the first candidates for genes associated with an anxiety-prone personality is a step in the right direction."

    Horror film gene that makes some scream while others laugh - Telegraph

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    I definitely has the gene that makes me scream and hide between the theater cushions.

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    Elite Member Algernon's Avatar
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    While many screamed and some even fainted in cinemas at scenes of spinning heads and shaking beds, others simply laughed

    Okay, where are these sick fuckers??? Are the ones with the "not affected gene" the ones who turn in serial killers?
    Value the future on a timescale longer than your own. -Richard Dawkins

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Algernon View Post
    While many screamed and some even fainted in cinemas at scenes of spinning heads and shaking beds, others simply laughed

    Okay, where are these sick fuckers??? Are the ones with the "not affected gene" the ones who turn in serial killers?
    my husband and my daughter (14) are two of those that are never scared at ANY movie! i scream, plug my ears, get into the fetal position if i even try to watch a scary movie.
    Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msdebagain View Post
    my husband and my daughter (14) are two of those that are never scared at ANY movie!
    sounds like he passed on the sociopath gene, good times in store.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

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    That's really interesting! I often wondered if that was the case - if it was in your genetics.

    I hate horror movies myself. I think they're sick.

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    Elite Member MrsMarsters's Avatar
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    I love horror movies....and yes I've laughed at a few...and no I haven't killed anyone.

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    Elite Member Mariesoleil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stylejunkiex View Post
    I definitely has the gene that makes me scream and hide between the theater cushions.
    Me too. My bf on the other hand loves them and laughs.
    "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers."

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    La vie en rose DitaPage*'s Avatar
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    I want to meet the people who laughed in the Exorcist, because I didn't know it was possible.


    I laugh at corny horror though, it helps when the acting is terrible. Like Halloween H20. I was in hysterics.

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    Elite Member Mariesoleil's Avatar
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    ^^ are you sure you want to meet them?
    "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers."

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    La vie en rose DitaPage*'s Avatar
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    ^You're right. NO I wouldn't. They are surely psychos.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    lol i guess i'm a sociopath because most horror makes me laugh. when i do get scared it's more psychological terror - what's implied rather than gory special effects and blood baths. and yeah, i laughed my ass off during the exorcist, especially the scene with the crucifix.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    La vie en rose DitaPage*'s Avatar
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    ^Okay, nice to meet ya then.
    And I haven't been butchered to death.

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    Elite Member aabbcc's Avatar
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    I think it has more to do with the quality of the movie in question. There are some horror movies that are truly scary. Sadly, though, most of the so-called horror movies made today are just silly slasher stuff. For some reason, Hollywood doesn't seem to understand that violence and gore =/= scary.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxMouse View Post
    sounds like he passed on the sociopath gene, good times in store.
    a little smiley face goes a longggggggggg way. warsh warsh warsh
    Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
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