Saturday, January 21, 2006

How Does Our Brain Interpret Sarcasm


I never knew so much went into understanding sarcasm.

A group of Israeli psychologists mapped out this pathway through the brain to appreciating sarcasm:

First, the left hemisphere of the brain that processes language kicks in to establish the literal meaning of what's said;

Second, the frontal lobes and right hemisphere process the intentional, social and emotional context of what's been said, identifying the contradiction between what's going on and what was said;

Finally, the right rear part of the prefrontal cortex integrates the literal meaning with the social and emotional knowledge of the current and previous situations to help the listener appreciate the true meaning.

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