An atlas of the brain?

A new study in the journal Nature explains why a good story can be so engrossing.

Researchers at Cal-Berkeley tracked brain activity in people as they listed to podcasts of “The Moth Radio Hour.”  What they discovered is that the stories activated areas across the brain, including networks associated with the senses, emotions, and memory. As you can see above, the brain lights up like a kaleidoscope.

A more detailed discussion of the research can be found here. What the researchers have found is that, at a more granular level, specific words consistently “light up” specific areas of the brain.  As a Princeton neuroscientist observes: “The ethical implications are enormous. One more benign use would see brain activity used to assess whether political messages have been effectively communicated to the public.”