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How sense of humor develops in the brain

laughing child.jpg

Back in 2005, I wrote about Stanford research showing that gender affects the way a person's brain responds to humor. The first-of-its-kind imaging study, which found that women activate the parts of the brain involved in language processing and working memory more than men when exposed to humorous material, was a fun one to cover. Reporters around the world wound up contacting me so they could interview senior author Allan Reiss, MD, and I still get occasional inquiries about the work.

I expect, then, that the latest research from Reiss, who directs the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research, will generate some interest. He and colleagues have turned their focus to children - and they're examining how the neural pathways that encode the sense of humor develop in young brains. The work, for which they're now recruiting volunteers, is the first such study of how children's brains change as their sense of humor matures.

Stay tuned!

Photo by malenga

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