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Lauren Admire | 15 Feb 2010 21:00

Girls Process Jokes Differently Than Men

She who laughs last, thinks slowest. Wrong. She who laughs last, thinks differently. Though it's true that laughing last sometimes means that it has taken longer for someone to process a joke, for women it also means two other things: 1. Their expectations of the joke are higher and 2. When they finally do laugh, they get more pleasure out of the joke than men do.

Ten men and ten women were given black and white cartoons and asked to rate them on a "funniness scale." As they doled out the scores, their brains were scanned and mapped to see which parts of their brains lit up and how long it took for their brain to respond to a joke.

As it turns out, women tend to use the pre-frontal cortex more when deciphering a joke. The pre-frontal cortex is a part of the brain which helps to decode language and screen out any irrelevancies within the joke experience.

"Our findings fit the stereotype of how men and women react to humor," states Allan Reiss, a professor at Stanford University at California. "We found greater activity in the pre-frontal cortex in women, indicating women are processing stimuli that involve language areas of the brain. The interpretation of that finding is that women tend to respond more to narrative and wordplay than slapstick."

Analysis of the nucleus accumbens, deemed the "feelgood" part of the brain, also shows how men and women have different attitudes towards humor. Frankly, women aren't expecting a decent punchline in a cartoon, so when one actually made them giggle, they were more pleased by the joke than boys. Compare this to men, who expected the cartoon to be funny from the get-go and were less likely to spot a dud joke than women.

So, keep that in mind, fellas. When trying to impress a lady, avoid the dainty one-liners. Engage them in a story, and then surprise them with an unexpected punchline. Then, just give them a second or two to think about it.

Source: Daily Mail

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