The Neuro Film Series


Montreal Neurological Institute 3801 rue University, Montreal, QC, H3A 2B4, CA

The Neuro Film Series presents The Commitments on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm.   The Commitments is a rough-edged comedy about an unlikely vision – the creation of Soul band by the denizens of white, working class, Catholic Dublin. What makes this film so memorable is the reality of the characters.  Their backgrounds, earthy language and hardscrabble lives are contrasted against the absurd escapism of their musical journey. Soul music was hugely popular in Britain during the 60s and the film charts the course of a motley crew of tough young Dubliners who argue constantly while rediscovering Soul music in the 80’s and growing into a tight Soul band.  It is a feel-good movie without the syrupy predictability of so many high-budget movies and a lot of fun. [Be warned, this is not a movie for those of a delicate disposition. There is liberal use of bad language, that’s the way the street is, and the Irish accents can be hard to follow in detail. The overall story is easy to follow; you’ll just miss some of the rapid-fire jokes. ]

Our host for this film, Neuroscientist Alan Evans, grew up in Wales in a neighborhood not too different from the setting of the film to this, so there is a strong sense of identity for him with this background. How does this relate to Neuroscience? Neurophysiology indicates that laughter is linked with the activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex that produces endorphins. Scientists have shown that the hippocampus and the amygdala of the limbic system are involved in laughter. This system is involved in emotions and helps us with functions necessary for human’s survival. 

Alan Evans, James McGill Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Biomedical Engineering, McGill University, was born in Wales and did his PhD in biophysics at Leeds University studying 3D protein folding. He spent 5-years at Atomic Energy of Canada, working on the physics and analysis of PET images. In 1984, he moved to the MNI where his research interests include multi-modal brain imaging methodologies, most recently network modeling of brain connectivity, and their application in neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. Dr. Evans also contributes to a North American electronic network that links brain mapping laboratories. He and his colleagues are analyzing data derived from more than 400 brains to make a neuroanatomy atlas. The imaging techniques developed in the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre are also being used in large-scale, multi-centre clinical trials.

Discover Science at the movies on November 17, 6:30 pm at the Neuro Film Series!

Neuro Movie Nights are free and snacks can be purchased (including wraps and popcorn)!

All films take place at: The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, 3801 University Street, Jeanne Timmins amphitheatre.

For more information contact: debbie.rashcovsky [at] or 514-398-6047 or go to

Contact Information

Debbie Rashcovsky
Montreal Neurological Institute
debbie.rashcovsky [at]
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