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DiCaprio's Romeo and Juliet tops movie tear-jerkers list
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An experiment has found that the movie which most gets audience's emotional empathy racing is Romeo and Juliet, starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio, according to Daily Mail.

DiCaprio and Danes in "Romeo and Juliet"

The study involved wiring up 1,000 volunteers to electrodes to measure their heart rate and blood pressure as they watched various films.Researchers found romantic scenes triggered the "mirror' neurons, causing the viewers to experience the same emotions as the characters.

The volunteers - equal numbers of both sexes - had to wear a cap fitted with 20 wired sensors called EEGs, or electroencephalograms.

They were then shown significant ten-minute clips from movies as their responses were measured.

Nearly 20 per cent had a surge in heart rate when they were shown scenes of Romeo and Juliet dying in the 1996 movie by Baz Luhrmann.

Twelve per cent had the same reaction to the ending of Casablanca, which came second in the study by DVD rental service

And 10 percent were swooning when Patrick Swayze returned from the dead to woo Demi Moore in Ghost.

 Patrick Swayze's epic performance in Dirty Dancing got film-goers crying.

Women showed a greater response to the romantic clips.

Their heart rates soared on average from 65 to 130 beats per minute at key moments, but men's rates rarely topped 100.

Dr Lewis said: "We only tend to see men's pulses really racing when they are shown action films like Die Hard."

Neuropsychologist David Lewis, of the Mind Laboratory, said: "By mirroring inside a person's head what is unfolding before their eyes, neurons enable movie fans to unconsciously experience the intense emotions depicted.

"This means if a plot involves romance, viewers will experience the same response as if it was happening to them.

"The more romantic the movie, the more physically and emotionally aroused viewers become as mirror neurons go into overdrive.

"In addition, powerful chemicals related to amphetamines will be released into the blood, producing the giddy high often experienced with romance.

"Mirror neurons are a relatively recent discovery, but they help us develop empathy.

"They are why people get moved to tears or get excited by what they are seeing, because they become emotionally involved."

(China Daily/Agencies February 15, 2008)

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