Happy Stories Synch Brain Activity More Than Sad Stories

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Nov 13, 2021, 1:45:40 AMNov 13
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Happy Stories Synch Brain Activity More Than Sad Stories



Summary: Sharing happy, positive stories increases feelings of closeness and brain synchrony between narrator and listener more than sharing sad stories, a new study reports.

Source: SfN

Successful storytelling can synchronize brain activity between the speaker and listener, but not all stories are created equal.

Sharing happy stories increases feelings of closeness and brain synchrony more than sad stories, according to new research published in eNeuro.

Researchers from East China Normal University compared how emotional stories impact interpersonal connection and communication.

In the study, one participant—the speaker—watched happy, sad, and neutral videos and recorded themselves explaining the contents of the videos.

This shows the outline of two heads and tree branches representing neurons in the brain
Researchers from East China Normal University compared how emotional stories impact interpersonal connection and communication. Image is in the public domain

Participants—the listeners—listened to the narration and rated how close they felt to the speaker afterward. Both the speaker and the listeners completed their tasks while researchers measured their brain activity with EEG.

Sharing happy stories produced better recall in the listeners, as well as higher ratings of interpersonal closeness.

The increased closeness was linked to increased synchrony between the brain activity of the speaker and listener, particularly in the frontal and left temporoparietal cortices.

These regions are involved in emotional processing and theory of mind, respectively. Brain synchrony could become a measure of successful connection and communication.

About this social neuroscience research news

Author: Press Office
Source: SfN
Contact: Press Office – SfN
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: Closed access.
Sharing Happy Stories Increases Interpersonal Closeness: Interpersonal Brain Synchronization as a Neural Indicator” by Enhui Xie, Qing Yin, Keshuang Li, Samuel A. Nastase, Ruqian Zhang, Ning Wang and Xianchun Li. eNeuro


Sharing Happy Stories Increases Interpersonal Closeness: Interpersonal Brain Synchronization as a Neural Indicator” by Enhui Xie, Qing Yin, Keshuang Li, Samuel A. Nastase, Ruqian Zhang, Ning Wang and Xianchun Li. eNeuro



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