ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (2): 219-227.

• 研究前沿 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

“Aha!” and “Haha!”: The Common and Distinct Cognitive Brain Processes Underlying Insight and Humor

NIE Qi-Yang;LUO Jing   

  1. (1 Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China)
    (2 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China)
    (3 Learning & Cognition Lab, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China)
  • Received:2011-04-07 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2012-02-15 Published:2012-02-15
  • Contact: LUO Jing

Abstract: As high-level forms of human intelligence, there are many things in common between insight and humor. From the prospective of cognitive and affective components, the discontinuity, suddenness, and restructuring of insight are corresponding to the incongruity, incongruity detection, and incongruity resolution of humor, overlapped representational mechanisms between insight and humor were demonstrated. From the prospective of neural mechanisms, psychological events of insight and humor were both accompanied by the ERP negativity around 400 ms in the central frontal region, and activated anterior cingulate cortex, temporoparietal junction and prefrontal cortex. There were also differences between insight and humor in the P300 component and brain activation in the hippocampus and right-hemisphere anterior superior temporal gyrus. In the future, we can learn from the brain imaging research paradigm used in the study of cognitive and affective components of humor, to further demystify cognitive and emotional processing in insight.

Key words: insight, humor, restructuring, incongruity, N400, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)