The Neurochemistry of Empathy, Storytelling, and the Dramatic Arc, Animated
Why do some stories connect to our emotions better than others?
Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and behavioral researcher, uses a touching story of a happy young boy and his sad father to explain how storytelling intersects with the brain chemistry behind empathy and distress. The classical story arc, one of the cornerstones of how we weave our tales, actually stimulates specific and predictable regions of the brain and involves some of the neural chemicals we’ve grown to love (cortisol and oxytocin).
This is fascinating. Literature has taught us which story structures work best, and neuroscience illuminates just how our brains latch on to those. Why we connect one to the other so closely remains an open question for now …
(via Brain Pickings)