Why storytelling is the best learning tool

What happens in the brain when we hear stories and why they stay with us?

Perhaps that’s because the part of the brain involved in memory is the same part involved in imagination and story work.

When the brain is presented with factual information, only two of its regions activate. Brain scans show that storytelling causes many additional areas to light up. The brain responds to the story events as if they were actually happening to the listener.

When we experience an emotional event or story, certain parts of our brain release excess dopamine, making it easier to remember something with greater accuracy.

The motor, sensory and frontal cortices are all engaged during storytelling. They are fed dopamine by feelings of anticipation of the story’s resolution.

Through a process called narrative transport, good stories engage listeners emotionally.

The Neuroscience of Storytelling

If we are engaged in the story and relate to it, the neurons in our brain fire in the same patterns as the person telling the story, a process known as mirroring or “neural coupling.”

If they touch their face, we will, if they cross their legs, we will. “Mirror neurons” create coherence between the speaker’s brain and the audience’s brains.

The human brain has a strong tendency to lose focus. It is estimated to engage in up to 2,000 daydreams a day and to spend up to half its waking time wandering. In the presence of an interesting story, though, this mental meandering goes to zero.

You brain focuses, and the excess dopamine facilitates the creation of long-term memories.

And here my friend is the end of my story for today… thank you for reading!

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