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Word of Mouth - Segment
Wed December 14, 2011
Three cognitive scientists walk into a bar...
How many public radio hosts does it take to change a lightbulb? None – they tell their producer to do it. Okay, so maybe you have to work in “the industry” to appreciate that one – but it does bring us one feeble step closer to the subject of this segment: the connection between humor and thinking. The funny bone rarely attracts the serious scholarship of other body parts and functions… Until a cognitive scientist, a psychologist and a grad student walked into a lab and studied the connection between laughter and the human brain. They found that mirth helps us make sense of the world; Daniel Dennett is co-director of cognitive studies at Tufts University, and one of three authors of Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind.