Paolo Nichelli, Jordan Grafman, Pietro Pietrini, Kimberley Clark, and others
Where the brain appreciates the moral of a story
Neuroreport 6. 17 (Nov 1995): 2309-2313


Measured regional cerebral blood flow with positron emission tomography in nine normal volunteers during the reading of Aesop's fables to identify the distributed brain regions used for appreciating the grammatical, semantic, and thematic aspects of a story. In four conditions, Subjects had to monitor the fables for font changes, grammatical errors, a semantic feature associated with a fable character, and the moral of the fable. Both right and left prefrontal cortices were consistently, but selectively, activated across the grammatical, semantic, and moral conditions. Appreciating the moral of a story required activating a distributed set of brain regions in the right hemisphere which included the temporal and prefrontal cortices. Findings emphasize that story processing engages a widely distributed network of brain regions, a subset of which become preferentially active during the processing of a specific aspect of the text.



Maintained by Francis F. Steen, Communication Studies, University of California Los Angeles