Neuroscience in Science Fiction in Films traces the intertwining paths of SF film, psychiatry, and neuroscience, showing how they cross-pollinate one another, sometimes predicting scientific advances or paradigm shifts in psychiatry. Starting with the pre-film era, this book highlights the literary origins of 20th century cinematic scientists. A distinctive SF subgenre pertaining to brain-mediated behavior becomes apparent: neuroscience fiction. We identify links between neuroscience and genetics, transplant medicine, gland therapy (anti-aging medicine), even infectious disease, and changing definitions of death (to brain death). The continuum between simian cinema brain-exchanges of the 1920s is highlighted. The big-brained aliens of classic 1950s SF are treated as metaphors for brains' increasing importance, soon after a lobotomist became a Nobel Laureate, when Freudian-influenced melodramas were more esteemed than SF film. This text links classical and romantic era automatons to RoboCop, Iron Man, and recent bio-engineering feats that overcome paralysis.We show how recent movies about memory enhancers and memory erasers reflect contemporary preoccupations with Alzheimer's and PTSD - although SF pioneer HG Wells tackled similar topics in 1901. SF tropes about brain drains and brain chips are likened to schizophrenic delusions described in 1919. Crossovers between neuroscience fiction films and cyberpunk stories merit much discussion.
Neuroscience in Science Fiction Films
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers