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Your brain is your greatest resource—use it by design to help you learn how to stay healthier and younger for longer!

—Arlene R. Taylor PhD

Areas in the right temporal lobe (right neocortex) interpret metaphor and "get" jokes. It understands what Freud called the "primary process," the language of the unconscious, the language of poems, art, and myth. (Goleman, Daniel. The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights. p 24-28. MA:More Than Sound, 2011)

Study using EEG topographical brain mapping of an individual hearing a joke: left hemisphere began to process the words. Then the frontal lobe center of emotionality was activated. 120 milliseconds later the right hemisphere began processing the pattern. A few milliseconds later the occipital lobe showed increased activity. Delta waves increased, the brain got the joke, and laughter erupted. (Dunn, Joseph R., PhD, Ed. New Discoveries in Psychoneuroimmunology. p 6-7. (interview with Dr. Lee S. Berk). Humor & Health Letter, Vol III. No 6, Nov/Dec 1994, MS: Dunn.)

Study: college males found all jokes much funnier than the women did, and gave them higher ratings. College females: were not amused by the poorer jokes but rated the really funny ones higher than the men did. Montague, Ashley. The Natural Superiority of Women. p 153. NY: Collier Books, a division of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1952, 1974.

Study: Men used humor far more often than women. Males were responsible for 99 of the total 103 instances. Men tend to tell more jokes than women and women tend to laugh more at them. (Eakins, Barbara Westbrook, and R. Gene Eakins. Sex Differences in Human Communication. p 75-80. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.,1978.)

Males prefer sexual, word-play, and ethnic jokes more than females do. Females like absurd and silly jokes better than males do. Hostile jokes are liked equally. (Stump, Jane Barr, PhD. What’s the Difference? p 110-111. NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985.)

Study: college males found all jokes much funnier than the women did, and gave them higher ratings. College females: were not amused by the poorer jokes but rated the really funny ones higher than the men did. Montague, Ashley. The Natural Superiority of Women. p 153. NY: Collier Books, a division of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1952, 1974.

Study: Men used humor far more often than women. Males were responsible for 99 of the total 103 instances. Men tend to tell more jokes than women and women tend to laugh more at them. (Eakins, Barbara Westbrook, and R. Gene Eakins. Sex Differences in Human Communication. p 75-80. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.,1978.)

Men tend to appreciate silly/slapstick humor more than women who tend to have a dry sense of humor. Males are more likely to laugh at jokes at another’s expense; females are more likely to laugh at jokes at their own expense. (Howard, Pierce, J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 170-175. Bard Press, 2000.)

Laughter can relieve stress as well as relaxation can. Jokes about life can be healing; jokes that put down groups of people are not. (Bricklin, Mark, et al. Positive Living and Health. p 162. PA: Rodale Press, 1990.)

Most laughter has nothing to do with jokes, concludes researcher and humorous speaker, Prof. Robert Provine. For years he has studied laughter, humorous speaking and humorous speakers and what provokes it. Some of Provine's conclusions: *Less than 20% of laughter was in response to anything resembling a joke. (Dvorak, Doug. How to Use Humor and Laughter as a Coping Mechanism for Stress.)

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