Cinema Junkie KPBS Midday Edition: Pop Culture, Neuroscience, And COVID-19

Link to Eric Leonardis interviewed on Beth Accomando's Cinema Junkie broadcast on KPBS Midday Edition.

Longer podcast version: coming soon!


"Many people are turning to movies as distraction while sheltering at home. Neuroscientist Eric Leonardis suggests a couple of films that can be used to look at the coronavirus pandemic from a social dimension.

Leonardis is an instructor of cognitive science at UC San Diego and his field of expertise is as an emotion researcher. "I study how humans and animals understand each other's emotional state by using multi-sensory cues from our social counterparts," Leonardis explained. "My research is broadly concerned with how the brain gives rise to emotion and social interactions and how emotions like panic and fear can spread through a population of humans and animals. So I won't be speaking necessarily about the biological aspects of COIVD-19 of these films, but instead the social dimensions and how language and emotions can spread through a population as well as viruses."

Leonardis is compiling a list of pandemic films for people to watch and I will be discussing the full list with him next week on my Cinema Junkie podcast. But here he highlights two of those films: John Carpenter's "The Thing" (1982) and Bruce McDonald's "Pontypool" (2008)."

From Beth Accomando's Cinema Junkie

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