We now know why we find some jokes funny – thanks to Seinfeld

The popular sitcom Seinfeld has helped scientists understand how we appreciate humour

Castle Rock Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection/Alamy

What starts as a simple knock-knock joke can light up different regions of your brain, depending on whether you find the gag funny or just understand it. Scientists gained a better appreciation of this process after monitoring people while they watched the popular sitcom Seinfeld.

Several parts of the cortex, the brain’s outermost layer, are involved in processing humour, but Penny MacDonald at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and her colleagues thought that the…

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