Saturday, July 31, 2010

This is your brain "on" storytelling" - a deep connection

This is your brain on storytelling - from Roger Dooley (no relation)
We storytellers often describe a successful performance by saying that our audience was "entranced" by our story. After a storytelling performance in a school,  I sometimes have the opportunity to break it down for students. Explaining what just occurred, I might say,  "I used words to transmit the images in my mind and you received my words and turned them into images, feelings and experience in your minds."   I tell students this is the magic of language and story. "Our heads are connected - like wifi ! Only without the computers, iPhones, modems and DSL."  It seems that brain imaging shows my wifi metaphor to be less metaphoric and more a scientific description of the actual process, than I knew.
 "You may be talking and I may be listening, but our brains look strikingly similar.
That’s the conclusion of a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. After conducting brain scans of a woman telling a story off the cuff and then of 11 people listening to a recording of her, researchers Greg Stephens and Uri Hasson say they found that the same parts of the brains showed activation at the same time, suggesting a deep connection between talker and listener."
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