Broca and Wernicke and Stories

When we listen to stories, more of the brain lights up, according to  Annie Murphy Paul, author of “Brilliant: The New Science of Smart.”

Stories cause your neurons to fire the same way they would if you were doing the actual action talked about. For example, if you were listening to someone talk about kicking a ball, the motor part of the brain that would help you kick a ball in real life lights up.

Here’s the science: Two parts of the brain – Broca’s and Wernicke’s area – automatically light up when listening to a presentation. Think of them as the gray cells that work on processing language and speech — the input/output area of the brain. They’re the same parts of the brain that light up when you read a book, and the same parts of the brain that we use to watch a favourite movie or talk to a loved one.

The Science Behind Storytelling and Why It Matters

Header illustration: Frederick Cayley Robinson (1862-1927)