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ISSN: 2151-6200

Arts and Social Sciences Journal
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Perspective Article

Stories Have the Power to Save us: A Neurological Framework for the Imperative to Tell Stories

Bem Le Hunte1* and Jan A Golembiewski2

1University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

2 Schizophrenia Research Institute, Australia

*Corresponding Author:
Bem Le Hunte
Associate Professor
Bachelors of Creative Intelligence and Innovation
University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Tel: +61(2)93856355
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 30, 2014; Accepted date: July 21, 2014; Published date: July 28, 2014

Citation: Hunte BL, Golembiewski JA (2014) Stories Have the Power to Save us: A Neurological Framework for the Imperative to Tell Stories. Arts Social Sci J 5:073. doi: 10.4172/2151-6200.1000073

Copyright: © 2014 Hunte BL, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 

Abstract

The evolutionary advantage of humans is in our unique ability to process stories – we have highly evolved ‘narrative organs.’ Through storytelling, vicarious knowledge, even guarded knowledge, is used to help our species survive. We learn, regardless of whether the story being told is ‘truth’ or ‘fiction.’ Humans place themselves in stories, as both observer and participant, to create a ‘neural balance’ or sweet spot that allows them to be immersed in a story without being entirely threatened by it – and this involvement in story leads to the formation of empathy – an empathy that is integral to forging a future humanity. It is through empathy, we argue, that stories have the power to save us. The hippocampi process narrative details. Situated alongside are the amygdalae – organs that place the reader in the story. The temporal lobes store ‘story nuggets.’ Finally there’s the frontal cortex to inhibit full participation in narrative, so that the story can be experienced vicariously.

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