Why our brains make us laugh

… our brains are Chevy engines running Maserati software. We’re a species that thinks prodigiously. In every situation, the human brain needs to constantly anticipate the future by making assumptions about the world that unfold at breakneck speed.

We do a quick and dirty assessment and make a lot of best guesses. But this fills our mental spaces with junk, small mistakes that could trigger a cascade of errors if they go undetected, leading us to waste a lot of energy and resources and, in the worst case, inviting disaster.

Finding and disabling these errors is a critical task. But it’s a resource-hungry job that has to compete with everything else our brains are doing. We think the pleasure of humor, the emotion of mirth, is the brain’s reward for discovering its mistaken inferences. Basically, the brain has to bribe itself to do this important work.



About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
This entry was posted in Brains, Laugh and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.