The neural basis of humour processing

  title={The neural basis of humour processing},
  author={Pascal Vrti{\vc}ka and Jessica M. Black and Allan L. Reiss},
  journal={Nature Reviews Neuroscience},
Humour is a vital component of human socio-affective and cognitive functioning. Recent advances in neuroscience have enabled researchers to explore this human attribute in children and adults. Humour seems to engage a core network of cortical and subcortical structures, including temporo-occipito-parietal areas involved in detecting and resolving incongruity (mismatch between expected and presented stimuli); and the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic system and the amygdala, key structures for… 

Antagonism between brain regions relevant for cognitive control and emotional memory facilitates the generation of humorous ideas

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging results suggest that a neural antagonism previously related to the emergence and regulation of negative affective responses, is linked with the generation of emotionally positive ideas and may represent an important neural pathway supporting mental health.

Neuropsychology of humor: an introduction. Part II. Humor and the brain.

  • C. Derouesné
  • Psychology, Biology
    Geriatrie et psychologie neuropsychiatrie du vieillissement
  • 2016
Himor appears to be a complex and dynamic functional process involving, on one hand, two specialized but not specific neural systems linked to humor apprehension and appreciation, and, on the other hand, multiple interconnected functional brain networks including neural patterns underlying the moral framework and belief system.

Humor Appreciation Involves Parametric and Synchronized Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus

  • T. Iidaka
  • Psychology, Biology
    Cerebral cortex
  • 2017
The brain regions that are predominantly involved in humor sensation under natural condition are revealed and it appears that both parametric and synchronized activity in the MPFC and hippocampus are important during humor appreciation.

Personality modulates amygdala and insula connectivity during humor appreciation: An event-related fMRI study

Results underscore the sensitivity of humor processing to moderating influences, such as personality, and call attention to the importance of brain connectivity measures for the investigation of inter-individual differences in the processing of humor.

Neural circuit of verbal humor comprehension in schizophrenia - an fMRI study

Neural Correlates of Sex/Gender Differences in Humor Processing for Different Joke Types

The findings help further establish the mechanisms underlying the processing of different joke types for the sexes/genders and provide a neural foundation for a theory of sex/gender differences in humor.




Humor plays a key role in social interaction, and yet the topic has received surprisingly little attention in cognitive and social neuroscience. The few published lesion and functional imaging

Neural Correlates of Humor Detection and Appreciation in Children

The neural network involved in the detection and appreciation of humor in childhood is illuminated, and a novel comparison of Funny to Positive stimuli found that bilateral TOPJ activation may be specific to humor processing and not part of a general constellation of neural activity in response to reward.

Sex differences in brain activation elicited by humor.

Results indicate sex-specific differences in neural response to humor with implications for sex-based disparities in the integration of cognition and emotion.

Personality predicts activity in reward and emotional regions associated with humor.

This work uses event-related functional MRI to address the putative neural and behavioral associations between humor appreciation and the personality dimensions of introversion-extroversion and emotional stability-neuroticism, and shows extroversion to positively correlate with humor-driven blood oxygenation level-dependent signal in discrete regions of the right orbital frontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and bilateral temporal cortices.

Humour appreciation: a role of the right frontal lobe.

The ability of the right frontal lobe may be unique in integrating cognitive and affective information, an integration relevant for other complex human abilities, such as episodic memory and self-awareness.

Social neuroeconomics: the neural circuitry of social preferences