Can Neuroscience Explain the Popularity of The Hunger Games?

We’ve learned more about the human brain in the last ten years than the previous ten thousand. Adolescence in particular is a time of dramatic change.

I’m currently pursing a master’s in social science and as I have two daughters on either side of the teenage spectrum (10 and 19), I decided to enroll in a course on Adolescent Brain Development.  

I’ve learned that from age 10 to 25, approximately, the human brain goes through significant structural transitions as it is both built up through the maturation of various areas of the cortex and the myelination (coating) of neurons, and thinned out through synaptic pruning, a kind of knowledge specialization.

The teenage brain advances in a back-to-front pattern. The prefrontal cortex, the region responsible for executive functions such as impulse control, emotional response, decision making, planning and judgement, is not considered fully matured until the mid-twenties.

Let me put it another way: it’s a lot like the Hunger Games. Continue reading Can Neuroscience Explain the Popularity of The Hunger Games?

Win a Hunger Games Giveaway Pack!

Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games movie

As readers and fans of the The Hunger Games books are gearing up for the movie coming out March 23rd, GeekMom has a giveaway, courtesy of Lionsgate, to help your preparations.

Included in the package is:

– 1 Softcover book of The Hunger Games
– 1 Hunger Games pin
– 3 Mini posters (Katniss, stadium, final)
– 1 Trading card pack
1 Copy of the soundtrack

The last one really caught my eye. Given the trailers for the movie, the soundtrack looks absolutely killer.

To enter to win, in the comments below, tell us why you’re looking forward to the movie. U.S. residents only.

We’ll announce the winner next Monday.

ETA: The winner was announced on Monday, March 19th. The contest is now closed.

Hunger Games Trailer: What’s Your Take?

What do you think? Our first extended look inside the movie…seeing Katniss salute the TV viewers gave me goosebumps. But Woody Harrelson’s floppy hair made me yell at my screen. That’s not my Haymitch. He needs to be straggly and grizzled, absolutely, but that hair is just silly.

Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket: spot on. And Stanley Tucci’s Caesar Flickerman: not at all the picture in my head (I saw him as more of a Liberace figure), but I LOVE this glimpse of the character. Awesome. It’s Tucci’s powerhouse charisma, just perfect.

The Hunger Games Trailer: “You Know How to Hunt.”

If your teen is anything like mine, she’s been counting the days until the release of the Hunger Games movie next March. Heck, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been counting!  We got our first peek at the film in a short trailer that aired at MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sunday night.

What did you think? It’s a brief tease, all right…there’s a hunted, haunted-looking Katniss running through the woods, dodging flaming tree limbs. We hear Gale on the voiceover: “They just want a good show, that’s all they want. You know how to hunt. Show ’em how good you are.” I love the wicked hiss of Katniss’s arrow as she releases her bowstring in the trailer’s final seconds. The trailer conveys her isolation and fear, but I found something jarring in Gale’s instructions; I’d have liked to hear Katniss’s voice. She’s the one telling the story, after all.

No glimpses, yet, of Katniss’s competition in the Games, nor of the spectacle outside the Arena. We’ll be living in suspense, these next few months…

The First Look at The Hunger Games Movie!

I can’t remember ever taking more than a passing interest in the details surrounding a book’s adaptation to film. Until now, that is. I eat up ever morsel that gets dropped as The Hunger Games makes its way to the big screen. I man Twitter and Facebook feeds to get the latest casting news as soon as possible.

I also can’t remember the last time that I bought a magazine at a newsstand, but I’ll be lining up today to buy the new Entertainment Weekly. Look at this cover! The issue promises an exclusive interview with Jennifer Lawrence as well as more pictures of her as Katniss.

EW's first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games

On a side note, much as I like Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci, I think they are miscast as Haymitch and Caesar Flickerman. I could almost buy Stanley Tucci as a President Snow. And as for Haymitch, well, that rumor of Robert Downey, Jr. just feels mean now. I really had my heart set on it. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket rules, though.

What are your thoughts on the cast so far?