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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Electrophysiological indexes of ToM and non-ToM humor in healthy adults

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Manfredi, Mirella [1, 2] ; Proverbio, Alice Mado [3] ; de Pinho, Pamella Sanchez Mello [1] ; Ribeiro, Beatriz [1] ; Comfort, William Edgar [1] ; Murrins Marques, Lucas [1] ; Boggio, Paulo Sergio [1]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Univ Prebiteriana Mackenzie, Social & Cognit Neurosci Lab, Ctr Hlth & Biol Sci, Sao Paulo, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Zurich, Dev Psychol Infancy & Childhood, Binzmuehlestr 14, CH-8050 Zurich - Switzerland
[3] Univ Milano Bicocca, Dept Psychol, Milan - Italy
Total Affiliations: 3
Document type: Journal article
Source: Experimental Brain Research; v. 238, n. 4 FEB 2020.
Web of Science Citations: 0

The cognitive processes involved in humor comprehension were analyzed by directly comparing the time course of brain activity associated with the perception of slapstick humor and that associated with the comprehension of humor requiring theory of mind (ToM). Four different comic strips (strips containing humorous scenes that required ToM, non-ToM humorous strips, non-humorous semantically coherent strips and non-humorous semantically incoherent strips) were presented to participants, while their EEG response was recorded. Results showed that both of the humorous comic strips and the semantically incongruent strip elicited an N400 effect, suggesting similar cognitive mechanisms underlying the processing of incongruent and humorous comic strips. The results also showed that the humorous ToM strips elicited a frontal late positive (LP) response, possibly reflecting the active deployment of ToM abilities such as perspective-taking and empathy that allow for the resolution and interpretation of apparently incongruent situations. In addition, the LP response was positively correlated with ratings of perceived amusement as well as individual empathy scores, suggesting that the increased LP response to ToM humorous strips reflects the combined activation of neural mechanisms involved in the experience of amusement and ToM abilities. Overall, humor comprehension appears to demand distinct cognitive steps such as the detection of incongruent semantic components, the construction of semantic coherence, and the appreciation of humoristic elements such as maladaptive emotional reactions. Our results show that the deployment of these distinct cognitive steps is at least partially dependent on individual empathic abilities. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/00553-5 - Semantic processing of the audiovisual information in autism: an electrophysiological exploration
Grantee:Mirella Manfredi
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 17/12752-8 - Cognitive, social and affective neuroscience for understanding human interaction
Grantee:William Edgar Machado Comfort
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 17/06136-2 - In search of moral fellings: from the development of basic emotions to the role of complex moral emotions on the judgement process
Grantee:Lucas Murrins Marques
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate