Recent experiments have shown that certain jokes activate areas of the brain based on the sensory information to be processed, its meaning and characteristics. The vitser og jokes analyze for El Cultural this process, closely related to the humor, the well-being and the balance of our organism.
Good humor, joy, are basic ingredients in everyday life. They are critical elements of behavior for good communication and certainly for all types of social interaction. It is said that good humor, and with it, laughter or smile, are very characteristically human states. There is no doubt that everyday life is littered with behaviors seasoned with good humor and of which we do not know its most elementary biological significance. What makes us laugh when listening to a good joke? Smart jokes change the atmosphere of an anodyne social gathering and can even break a cold and tedious situation. What makes the joke so powerful, to create that synchrony of behavior, in this case, that of laughter?
Studies of the functioning of the brain bring us closer and closer to answers to these questions. In a recent study, brain activity was recorded in a series of people who were read thirty jokes. The individuals selected for the study (while their brain was being scanned) pressed a button whenever they found one of the jokes funny or witty.
Each type of joke, good or bad, funny or not, activated, as it could not be otherwise, several areas of the brain, according to the sensory information to be processed, its meaning or the characteristics of the joke (sounds). But the interesting thing was that there was a convergence in the activation of an area of the brain that was common to all good or funny jokes, which did not happen in the case of bad jokes, regardless of the type of joke and how to count them. This area was the ventral medial prefrontal cortex. Moreover, the degree of activation of this area of the brain during the enjoyment of the joke correlated quite well with the degree or classification of "grace or occurrence" that the subject showed during the scan or after finishing it and reading the jokes himself. The interesting thing is that this prefrontal area is an important part of the "emotional brain" systems, those that are activated every time a person experiences a sensation of pleasure.
It is interesting that people with lesions of this brain area, particularly of their right brain, have a certain impediment in finding funny any kind of story or jokes. These people lack the ability to smile at something funny or funny. Of course they understand perfectly the meaning of what is said to them and find meaning in the context of history, but they are unable to "thin out" beyond that semantic meaning, and they can not print that other addition that I already say is the " grace "that a normal person finds in that kind of story.
No doubt everyone recognizes that the grace of a joke is not only in the same but in who tells it and in the social context in which it is told. There are people with the ability to "approach" or emotional "empathy" capable of predisposing us to find "funny" what "supposedly" is funny. And the disposition or reception of the individual himself towards what is told is a powerful determinant in the classification of a good or bad joke. It is not the same a relaxed meeting of friends for the reaction to good jokes if they are told by someone who has already recognized "the grace" in telling stories that the same joke told in a different context and also told by a "bad shadow" "
The joke, then, the good joke, is "socially" pleasant. And it is because it has the virtue of activating areas of the brain that are also activated in pleasant situations, particularly those that are obtained in a human social context. No doubt this explains, also in part, why laughter and smile are so characteristically human. The human being with his brain has expanded, beyond what is strictly pleasurable to survive, what it is like to eat or drink when one is hungry or thirsty, the pleasantness of certain human relationships. For the human being to laugh or smile also means to activate a part of the nervous system, the parasympathetic system, which provides your body with well-being, restoration to your physiological imbalances, return in the end to the "happiness" of the organism.