Does Neuroscience Explain Humor?
The brain is always anticipating what will come next—for example, what someone will say. This explains why jokes are funny: they add a twist to information our brain was anticipating.
Groucho Marx once said: "Outside a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read." According to a new book on humor by two cognitive scientists, this joke is funny because our brain anticipated something other than the image of a someone trying to read a book literally inside a dog. "The brain constantly generates presumptions about what will happen next. It calculates where a pedestrian will go, what a speaker will say, how a banana you’re peeling will look under the skin. In short, the brain 'produc[es] real-time anticipation on all important topics.'" The punch lines of a joke twists the image our brains produce.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.
- Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
- The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
- One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
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