December 12, 2011
Rapidly flashing lights and other fast-moving visual effects in movies, television, and video games can trigger sudden epileptic seizures and other neurological disorders in humans, and a recent warning by an epilepsy group confirms this. According to theBaltimore Sun, the Maryland-based Epilepsy Foundation recently issued a warning about the new, hit movieBreaking Dawn, which is part of theTwilightseries, that essentially proves popular media’s ability to reprogram brain neurology.
Reports claim that an “intense birth scene” inBreaking Dawnthat contains multi-colored visual strobe light effects has caused a number of moviegoers around the world to experience sudden seizures and other illness. And the trigger is allegedly so powerful and widespread that the Epilepsy Foundation has recommended that individuals prone to certain types of seizures avoid the film completely.
“If you were parents of a child with epilepsy, you would not send your child to the movie,” said Mimi Carter, director of communications at the Epilepsy Foundation, to reporters about the potential dangers of seeing the film. “Why would you risk it?”
In one instance, a California man was rushed to the hospital when he began “convulsing, snorting, (and) trying to breathe” after viewing the controversial scene, according to CBS Sacramento. And a woman from Portland, Ore., told KATU that she began feeling “sick to [her] stomach,” and became “really hot, really sweaty, like on the verge of vomiting” after watching the scene.
The Epilepsy Foundation has been warning for years that light-induced epilepsy triggers, which are collectively referred to as “photosensitivity,” is a “significant health problem,” and that parents need to be especially careful about the types of media to which their children are exposed. This was made especially apparent back in 1997 when nearly 700 Japanese children were hospitalized for seizures after watching an episode of the popularPokemoncartoon series (http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9712/17/ja…).
A bigger cause for concern, however, is how these forms of popular media are potentially able to neurologically reprogram individuals in other ways. If repeated patterns of light in movie scenes or television are able to trigger epilepsy, what else are they potentially doing to reprogram neural pathways and alter thought patterns, for instance? Since it is known that these visual effects do, indeed, cause demonstrable neurological abnormalities in some people, it is possible that they are causing not-so-visible abnormalities in many others as well.
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This article was posted: Monday, December 12, 2011 at 4:40 am