LOS ANGELES, Nov. 8 (Xinhua): Although different genders share the same humor response system, women seem to enjoy humor more than men, scientists reported Monday.
Women activate the parts of the brain involved in language processing and working memory more than men. Women are also more likely to activate with greater intensity the part of the brain that generates rewarding feelings in response to new experiences, according to scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine.
"The results help explain previous findings suggesting women and men differ in how humor is used and appreciated," said Allan Reiss, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences who led the study.
These findings, published in the Nov. 7 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to a better understanding of medical conditions such as depression and cataplexy, he said.
A number of brain structures, including the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in language processing and memory, are known to be involved in humor appreciation. Earlier study also showed that the brain's mesolimbic reward center, which is responsible for the rewarding feelings that follow such events as monetary gain or cocaine use, is also activated by humor.
During this study, 10 men and 10 women viewed 70 black-and- white cartoons and then rated the cartoons on a one-to-10 "funniness scale."