Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

by Mary K. Clark

Really?  Is it that simple? Just tell a story and we’ll activate the brain of the listener. Ah! If only I’d known it was this easy. It is fascinating to read about what we are just beginning to know about the science of storytelling. Lani Peterson brought my attention to The Science of Storytelling:  Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains, written by Leo Widrich. Widrich writes:

We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie, or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us. But why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a narrative about events?

It’s in fact quite simple. If we listen to a powerpoint presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part in the brain gets activated. Scientists call this Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens.

When we are being told a story, things change dramatically. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.

The article shares the “science of why storytelling is so uniquely powerful” in a very easy to read and interesting way and, yet, I suspect there is more to the story. I am looking forward to learning more – at the same time – I expect the magic will be there also!


– Mary


©Copyright 2/25/2013  by Mary K. Clark.  All Rights Reserved.

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