Friday, April 18, 2014

Stories Meld Our Minds

Somebody just sent me a link to this recent article by scientist Allison Gopnik in the Wall Street Journal.  It's all about how recent research on the brain has show that sharing stories creates a mind-meld phenomenon between the storyteller and the hearer.  Fascinating stuff possessing huge ramifications for what we do here in Hollywood, but also for the Church which, after all, has the mandate to share the story of salvation history.

"In another experiment they recorded the pattern of one person’s brain activity as she told a vivid personal story. Then someone else listened to the story on tape and they recorded his brain activity. Again, there was a remarkable degree of correlation between the two brain patterns. The storyteller, like Leone, had literally gotten in to the listener’s brain and altered it in predictable ways. But more than that, she had made the listener’s brain match her own brain.
The more tightly coupled the brains became, the more the listener said that he understood the story. This coupling effect disappeared if you scrambled the sentences in the story. There was something about the literary coherence of the tale that seemed to do the work."

Go here to read the whole piece.

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