Have you ever seen the movie Limitless starring Bradly Cooper?
It is the typical Hollywood neuroscience movie full of myths about using “10% of the brain” and accessing unrealistic sensory states through high-end drugs. While the movie is complete bogus (filled with additional bogus side plots), I was asked to make a proper science film in a neuroscience class, and I felt that Limitless was the perfect choice. It was the classic story of a zero-to-hero. What if there was a way to actually go from zero-to-hero with neuroscience?
With these thoughts in mind, Limitless but Limited was born.
[Please note: the video is about 10 minutes long and requires audio.]
This artifact taught me a great deal. For one, it required me to combine all my prior neuroscience experience. I had to combine visuals, impact, audio, story, and relevance all into one package. It also exposed me to how I can characters and cultural capital to share niche scientific ideas.
After this artifact, I plan to make more videos, especially on Youtube. It seems that certain platforms have higher quantities of users, which would serve my goal of spreading neuroscience information to many people. While science communication often focuses on the prose or level of detail in a work, I think a important component of the field is managing the attention economy. Without attention, nothing gets done.
If I was to do this project again, I would obviously make some changes to the video itself. There are errors that I did not actually notice when the video was first published, likely as a result of watching the same clips over and over again during the film editing process. I would also remove some of the diagrams into more dynamic elements. I think that diagrams are useful in a book, but they can be too complex to share in a video, where the reader’s attention is split between sound, visuals, and story. I hope my next neuroscience project can be on finding errors in human thought process based on The Planet of the Apes reboot.