The Neurohumor Notebook

humor is power laughter Sep 17, 2012

In terms of scientific discovery, we're living in one of the most exciting times ever. Researchers are doing more and more each day to uncover the relationship between the human experience and our physical well-being.

There are complex biochemical responses - things changing within our bodies, most particularly our brains - when we're exposed to external stimuli that triggers strong emotional reactions. In other words, when we read a thrilling novel or look at a beautiful painting, something happens inside our brain.  It turns out that that something has a significant impact on how healthy we are.

Ready for some link soup?

This CNN article, What the Brain Draws From: Art and Neuro-Science, takes a long look at how the brain responds to different types of art, and why we may be hard-wired to prefer some patterns to others. Smiling human faces are the most popular type of image in the world - almost everyone loves them. I know I do!

This is Your Brain on Jane Austen looks at the types of brain activity generated when people were reading the world's greatest novelist for pleasure, and then intently, as if studying for an exam. Stanford researchers are suggesting the intent reading does more to stimulate the brain, and can perhaps even promote cognitive health.

The topic of brain fitness and flexibility is becoming increasingly interesting as we, as a culture, look forward to increasing numbers of people facing Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. As a proponent of humor and healing, I have to say knowing there are steps we can take to keep ourselves healthy is good news.  Knowing those steps are fun and enjoyable? That's even better.

Today's Joke:

A vampire bat came flapping in from the night covered in fresh blood and parked himself on the roof of the cave to get some sleep.

Pretty soon all the other bats smelled the blood and began hassling him about where he got it.

He told them to go away and let him get some sleep but they persisted until finally he gave in.

"OK, follow me" he said and flew out of the cave with hundreds of bats behind him.

Down through the valley they went, across a river and into a forest full of trees.

Finally he slowed down and all the other bats excitedly milled around him.

"Now, do you see that tree over there?" he asked.

"Yes, Yes, Yes!" the bats all screamed in a frenzy.

"Good" said the bat, "Because I sure didn't!"

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