Appreciation of different styles of humor: An fMRI study

Yu Chen Chan, Wei Chin Hsu, Yi Jun Liao, Hsueh Chih Chen, Cheng Hao Tu, Ching Lin Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Humor styles are important in facilitating social relationships. Following humor styles theory, this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study is the first to use “one-liner” humor to investigate the neural correlates involved in appreciating humor styles that differ in terms of target (self or other) and motivation (benign or detrimental). Interestingly, we observed greater activation in response to humor that facilitates relationships with others (self-defeating and affiliative humor) than to humor that enhances the self (self-enhancing and aggressive humor). Self-defeating humor may play an important role in Chinese culture in facilitating social relationships at one’s own expense. Psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis revealed temporal pole (TP)-frontal functional connectivity underlying the appreciation of self-directed humor, and temporo-parietal junction (TPJ)-frontal connectivity underlying the appreciation of other-directed humor. Amygdala-frontal coupling was observed during the appreciation of detrimental humor, while nucleus accumbens (NAc)-temporal coupling and midbrain-frontal coupling appear to play a role in the affective experience of amusement in response to benign humor. This study contributes to our understanding of the neural correlates of appreciating different humor styles, including humor that facilitates social relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15649
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

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Wit and Humor
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Nucleus Accumbens
Mesencephalon
Amygdala

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Chan, Y. C., Hsu, W. C., Liao, Y. J., Chen, H. C., Tu, C. H., & Wu, C. L. (2018). Appreciation of different styles of humor: An fMRI study. Scientific Reports, 8(1), [15649]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33715-1

Appreciation of different styles of humor : An fMRI study. / Chan, Yu Chen; Hsu, Wei Chin; Liao, Yi Jun; Chen, Hsueh Chih; Tu, Cheng Hao; Wu, Ching Lin.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 15649, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chan, Yu Chen ; Hsu, Wei Chin ; Liao, Yi Jun ; Chen, Hsueh Chih ; Tu, Cheng Hao ; Wu, Ching Lin. / Appreciation of different styles of humor : An fMRI study. In: Scientific Reports. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.
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