Justified and unjustified movie violence evokes different brain responses

In a study, researchers find that scenes of justified and unjustified violence in movies activate different parts of the adolescent brain. The research is the first to show that when movie characters engage in violence that is seen as justified, there is a synchronized response among viewers in a part of the brain involved in moral evaluation, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, suggesting that viewers see the violent behavior as acceptable for self- or family protection.

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