The Direct recently had the opportunity to check out the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. interactive exhibit during its time in Toronto. Even though the space is currently closed due to the implementation of further COVID-19 restrictions in the city, we’re sharing the insightful information we discovered during our visit pre-shutdown.
In addition to learning about Thanos' ties to the MCU's Eternals, we were also able to better understand the complex brain of Bruce Banner & Hulk and the resulting differences in abilities and behavior before and after his Hulk-outs.
The Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit in Toronto has a section dedicated entirely to the Hulk. On one side of this area are interactive screens allowing visitors to examine the differences in brain anatomy and activity of Bruce Banner vs. the Hulk and the changes that occur when one morphs into the other. Specifically, one screen offers explanation to Hulk's "long jumps" that he's managed to perform in MCU films like The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers.
Bruce Banner's transformation into Hulk led to an increase of approximately 50% of the cerebellum size. Together with other transformations (in the vestibular system and visual cortex), this transformation was fundamental in enabling Hulk to keep the balance, spatial coordination and precision needed for his "long jumps".
The exhibit describes that Banner's transformation results in "an increase of approximately 15% of the visual cortex." It's stated that this transformation "allows Hulk to have a fast and increased visual processing while moving rapidly during his long jumps."
However, as Marvel fans know, some of the other changes from Banner to Hulk aren’t so positive. According to the interactive display, the Hulk saw a 30% reduction in size of his prefrontal cortex as opposed to Banner’s, as well as a 20% increase in the size of the amygdala. These changes influence the behavior of the Hulk, as they limit his ability to think rationally and instead cause him to act based on pure emotion.
Unfortunately, this section of the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit was created before the release of Avengers: Endgame. Because of this, the exhibit doesn't include models and information about Smart Hulk’s brain, which was created when Banner and Hulk fused together during the five-year gap between the Decimation and the Blip. With the character rumored to return for the Disney+ series She-Hulk, we’ll hopefully be learning more about this version of him soon.