If you’re like many people, you spend most of your time on the couch watching movies.
That means you spend a lot of time trying to get your head around what’s going on with the movie, how it’s going to unfold and how to react to any situation.
But as much as you might want to get away from your TV set, you might not have enough time to sit down and get your brain on the right track.
To help with that, you may have to spend some time watching some movies at home.
It turns out that your brain is capable of getting more involved with your movie watching when it’s at home, according to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The study was conducted by scientists at University College London and the University of Cambridge and involved 50 people who had a diagnosis of depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder and were either screened for the condition using a validated questionnaire, or a self-report questionnaire.
They were also given a battery of movies, and then told to watch them with their family and friends.
Then, they were asked to rate how much they enjoyed watching the movies.
What they found was that when they were watching movies with family and close friends, they tended to be happier than when they watched them alone.
“There’s been some speculation about this effect over the years, but this is the first study to show it in humans,” says study lead author Dr. Rachel Brown, a psychology researcher at the University College.
“The effect is similar to what we’d expect if people are watching together with friends, and they are also showing similar feelings to each other.”
This suggests that watching with your family is an important part of a healthy movie-watching routine.
“These findings suggest that movie-viewing can be part of the family’s entertainment schedule, and may also provide benefits for people with depression, and potentially bipolar disorder,” says Brown.
“We think it is important to stress that the research here is correlational and is limited to the participants in the study, so it is not intended to provide definitive evidence of causality.”
There’s more research needed to determine exactly how movies affect your brain, but the results suggest that a healthy film-watching schedule might be more beneficial than one that’s too crowded.
“It is important for people to understand that this research does not prove that movies increase people’s likelihood of having a healthy lifestyle, nor does it prove that they reduce depression or anxiety,” Brown adds.
“But we think this is evidence that movies are a great way to get a sense of what a healthy life is like.”
The study, “A movie-consumption environment enhances cognitive function in healthy adults,” was published in NeuroImage.
For more on the study and other neuroscience research, visit the Journal Of Neuroscience.