Laughter is the Best Medicine

The brain and humor

I was prepared to write this episode
with many jokes invented throughout but was experiencing writer’s block then I
realized something I don’t even tell jokes so why would I
suddenly be able to write them so without further ado on today’s humorless
episode of refrain facts I’m discussing humor and the brain so technically this
episode isn’t without humor what sets us humans apart from other animals within
the animal kingdom well one thing that seems to be a consensus is that we
humans enjoy and appreciate humor some of us go through great links to make
others laugh and we seem to be the only species that demonstrate that kind of
behavior here is an important and vital aspect of our social lies so much so
that we may even find ourselves laughing at a joke or situation we didn’t even
find funny just because others were laughing laughter has been shown to be
therapeutic showing benefits in one central nervous system and immune system
and as a way in which people cope during very difficult times in their lives plus
let’s be real here it feels really good to laugh we laugh at each other and
ourselves but what makes situations or jokes generally the things we find funny
funny to answer myself there’s a few theories proposed by
researchers who specialized in the psychology of humor and we’re focusing
on the incongruity resolution theory this theory suggests a two stage
cognitive model and which both surprise and the formulation of a new
interpretation of events results in humor in this way resolution of any
mismatches that arise incongruity aspect there’s a problem solving tasks designed
to change the incongruity into something that makes sense
thereby resulting in something being perceived as funny as an example what
did the hippocampus say during its retirement speech I don’t know what
thanks for the memories get it because the hippocampus is responsible for
memory and the retirement it’s about memories anyways we have several
incongruity ‘he’s going on with this joke that need to be resolved now if a
human made a retirement speech would it be possible for anyone to say thanks for
the memories yes that’s certainly within the realm of possibilities but not
particularly funny well a hippocampus doesn’t give retirement speeches but if
they did what would they say the epic campus is known
storage center for memories if they did say anything it would most likely be
related to memories so would it be acceptable for hippocampus to say thanks
for the memories probably so thereby making an
incongruous situation congruous jokes are never that funny when you have to
explain them based on the incongruity resolution theory several studies were
designed to look at brain regions associated with the two stage cognitive
model of surprise followed by coherence which researchers
generalized to two stages of humor detection or understanding followed by
appreciation according to scientists the detection phase may involve areas the
brain associated with resolving uncertainties between assumptions and
outcomes while the appreciation phase involves areas the brain associated with
affective or emotional processing studies have demonstrated involvement of
the left frontal and temporal lobes an area corresponding to intentions and
resolution of ambiguities and healthy people additionally people with damage
to the left hemisphere particularly in fear of frontal and posterior temporal
regions show impairments and detecting mismatches and stories and jokes
thus inferior frontal and posterior to floor regions typically involved in
language may be heavily involved in resolving mismatches between
expectations and outcomes our detection fees of humor both the insula and the
right portion of the amygdala have been correlated to the affective or emotional
understanding our appreciation phase of humor situations and jokes according to
researchers the insula may be responsible for the visceral or physical
reaction like a laugh that comes from the emotional content of humor but the
right portion of the amygdala is heavily implicated during the appreciation phase
in fact the amygdala sends information directly to the campus an area
responsible for memory and they both activate during memory construction of
emotional experiences this may be why jokes and humorous experiences that
result in an emotional response are memorable and therefore retold humor is
a pretty complicated process interestingly the involvement in the
portions of the brain heavily associated with language may be why humor is a
particularly human experience and remember since humor is good for your
brain try to laugh at my humor please because I’m funny what’s your favorite
joke and doesn’t follow the formula we
discussed comment below if you liked what you saw please subscribe to our
channel and check out our patreon page for links to sources we use in our
research don’t forget to hit that like button and as always thank you for

5 thoughts on “The brain and humor

  1. Whenever I need a quick mood boost I always think back to a situation where I had one of those “I-can’t-breathe!”, stomach-hurting, tears-flowing, uncontrollable laughs and I instantly feel better. That or watch some vids with a collection of funny mishaps (don’t know why seeing someone slip and fall is funny, but it is !). Great vid!

  2. One of my favorite jokes is the Aristocrats. Less about making resolving incongruities and moreso about the sheer amount of shock value you can unleash upon the audience. It's more comedic hazing than anything.

    Another big favorite of mine is Nate the Snake. It's such a long joke, that the humor of the joke is no longer found in any one aspect of the joke except in the amount of time you've spent listening to the joke to receive a punch line.

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