Monday, September 19, 2005

The Amused Brain

A recent look at "amused brains" shows that being amused activates personal or autobiographical and emotional memory areas, and areas implicated in motivation and reward. For neurobiological afficionados, these areas included medial , inferior frontal gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, temporal lobes, hippocampus, thalamus, and caudate. No wonder the amused learner is a good learner.

If we amuse our students, they are more likely to remember. In some cases, it may be the only effective way they can remember (incidental/ personal memory pathways are distinct from where rote or factual memory sites). We've included some links about Humor and the Classroom below.

Humor, Analogy, and Metaphor in Teaching
LDonline: Memory Strategies
Humor In College "Dread Courses"
Humor & Sentence Memory Abstract
Amused Brains fMRI

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