Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Humor Makes You Smarter

An article in the September issue of Reader's Digest discusses how Neuroscientists are doing serious research into how our brains react to humor. It really is a very interesting article, and well worth a trip to your nearest library or news stand.

The gist of their research is that regular stimulation of the humor centers in your brain actually makes you a more creative thinker and helps you to retain information. In other words, flexing your funny bone is great mental exercise.

This is something that I have no problem believing. Ever since I started Gradual School I have noticed that those professors who are willing to engage in humor as part of their pedagogical methodology are much more likely to maintain my attention and teach me quite a bit. Those who do straight, boring pedantic lectures, are more likely to make me nap.

I think that has been true for all of my educational life. When I have had teachers who were humorless, I learned less. Which explains why I absolutely stink at Word History questions on Jeopardy (blame my teacher sophomore year who wouldn't know a joke if it bit him on the tush.)

Now I suppose that means I have to add a humor workout to my daily exercises. At least this is one that I can do sitting down.



Suzanne said...

I can't agree more...just ask Shane when he listens better, engages in on the subject matter more...it all has to do with french toast in the morning and mom's willingness to laugh at his little jokes and sarcastic imitations of her while she tries to seriously share American History with him along with other subject matter through the say...let him get a giggle and I have his almost undivided attention...let me just ramble on with the more stern teacher "look" and I've lost him for the entire day and maybe into the next.
Its taken awhile to listen to his sense of humor and allow myself to develop some of my own. It is a fun learning processs, however....well, most of the time anyway. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank God! I'm not letting my brain rot!


Gradual School--hee hee