To understand how the brain reacts to humor, Reiss and his team had test subjects rate the hilarity of cartoons while undergoing fMRI brain scans. Although men and women described the cartoons as equally funny, the areas of their brains that lit up as a result differed. Women activated the left prefrontal cortex more than men, indicating that their processing of humor is rooted more heavily in language.
This explains why women are more likely to appreciate wordplay. Reiss also found that women showed a stronger response in the nucleus accumbens, the brain's reward center, suggesting that they ultimately derived bigger pleasure hits from "punch" lines.
Female mirth may also have a dark side. Women may have a more sensitive response to both positive and negative emotional stimuli, suggests Reiss, and that could help explain why they are twice as likely as men to become depressed.
I would like to take this opportunity and extend my sincerest apologies to all the ladies who were offended by my journal.
Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7) www.beyondgenes.com