Why Inspiring Stories Make Us React: The Neuroscience of Narrative
The man behind the discovery of the behavioral effect of a neurochemical in the brain called oxytocin wondered if the molecule might motivate people to engage in cooperative behaviors. In a series of tests using videos, his lab discovered that compelling narratives cause oxytocin release and have the power to affect our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
The Inner Lives of Disordered Brains
One popular new novel is narrated by a boy with autism, another by a nun with epilepsy, a third by a man with Tourette syndrome. These are stories very different from the classic neurological case history, but, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Oliver Sacks and others, such stories are capturing the attention of scientists and the public in nonfiction accounts as well as novels, movies, and television dramas. Historian of science Harrington asks what we are learning from these voices out of worlds so unlike our own.