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Sophisticated Humor Processing and the Ladies
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Gender differences in human cognition are usually as controversial as it gets, but I doubt anyone will kick up a fuss about this.

[Researchers] were surprised when their studies of how the male and female brains react to humor showed that women were more analytical in their response, and felt more pleasure when they decided something really was funny.

"Women appeared to have less expectation of a reward, which in this case was the punch line of the cartoon," said Reiss. "So when they got to the joke's punch line, they were more pleased about it."

Women were subjecting humor to more analysis with the aim of determining if it was indeed funny, Reiss said in a telephone interview.

Men are using the same network in the brain, but less so, he said, men are less discriminating.

"It doesn't take a lot of analytical machinery to think someone getting poked in the eye is funny," he commented when asked about humor like the Three Stooges.

Ah! A great mystery solved. So this is why guys like the Stooges and women don't (I thought maybe it had to do with the violent/dominant nature of the shows, but what do I know). By the way, do little girls find Road Runner and Coyote cartoons just as funny as little boys do?

Anyway, off to a day of school, secure in the knowledge that with a much less sophisticated and discriminating humor module, I'll find more things funny than my female colleagues. Of course, when they find a really funny situation they'll enjoy it more, but I have the advantage of sheer numbers.


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