The Precuneus and Anterior Cingulate Gyrus of Professional Comedians

This study attempted to see if there is something funny in the brains of professional comedians. The study is: “Mapping the ‘Funny Bone’: Neuroanatomical Correlates of Humor Creativity in Professional Comedians, Jacob Brawer and Ori Amir, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, epub 2021. (Thanks to Emine Kidjo for bringing this to our attention.)

Here are some words and numbers from the study:

The authors, based at Pomona College, Claremont, California, and one of whom is a semi-professional comedian, explain:

Measures of cortical surface area (gyrification and sulcal depth) and thickness were extracted for each participant. Compared to controls, professional comedians had greater cortical surface area in the left inferior temporal gyrus, angular gyrus, precuneus, and right medial prefrontal cortex….

The functional connectivity between the ECN and DMN is particularly apparent in the mPFC, precuneus, and the anterior cingulate gyrus, all of which display a positive correlation between comedic skill and measures of surface area.