British scientists say they have uncovered how the human brain responds to jokes, research that could help determine whether patients in a vegetative state can experience positive emotions.
"We found a characteristic pattern of brain activity when the jokes used were puns," Matt Davis, who co-led the research, said in a statement. "For example, jokes like 'Why don't cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny!' involved brain areas for language processing more than jokes that didn't involve wordplay."