This is a fascinating article from the BBC. It looks at what an actor’s brain is doing during a performance.
By Nick Higham
Original article here with additional video and images.
For an actor, the performance conditions weren’t exactly ideal: flat on her back in a large machine, under strict instructions to lie as still as possible, speaking in short bursts interspersed with the shrill sound of a magnetic resonance imaging scanner.
But last week Fiona Shaw, one of Britain’s leading actresses – who has in her time played everything from the tragic heroine Medea to Shakespeare’s Richard II – volunteered in the cause of science to spend an hour having her brain scanned while “acting”.
Professor Sophie Scott of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London wanted to know what happens physically in an actor’s head when they pretend to be someone else.
She hoped that scanning Fiona’s brain in action would be able to tell us.