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Improv Science Translations

Chukles Makes You Smart

For those of us in the Comedy business, participating in Improv classes and groups is a great way to keep the skills sharp. However, for those of us who are coincidentally also in the Neuroscience business, hearing the inevitable Improv class platitudes like “relax into the moment” or “find your inner hilariplex” can be frustratingly vague.

So to help clear up the confusion, please see this quick reference translation of Improv Platitudes to the language of Neuroscience:

Improvisational Cliche:

“have fun and you will be funnier”

Scientific Translation:

Try to increase your ventral striatum activation so as to potentially serve as a context or, if you will, a retrieval cue, to facilitate the activation, in anterior temporal regions, of associations with a greater potential to fit in a funny narrative.

Improvisational Cliche:

“get out of your head”

Scientific Translation:

To a reasonable extent, reduce your medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate top-down monitoring of the search through association space in the temporal regions, let the recurrent activation in the temporal neural networks evolve undirected and trust that it would lead to a funny idea.

Now everything is clear!

About Ori Amir

Dr. Ori Amir is a Cognitive Neuroscientist which is not typically a profession associated with hilarity, but recent shocking breakthroughs show that humor and comedy are created and even experienced primarily by human brains. Ori was raised by a pack of Siberian wolves until he reached puberty when he was deserted by the pack after exhibiting signs of inappropriate affection towards the leader's daughter. He wandered aimlessly in the wilderness until an old Russian lady found him, took pity and adopted him. She then kept him locked in the basement for ten years having only Algebra books and Brain Atlases for his entertainment and fed him with Omega 3 pills. His breakthrough came when he was 16 and the village people realized his talents of singing ABBA songs enthusiastically and out of tune, and its potential at scarring grasshoppers away from the crops. He then went on to establish his own extermination company and was, at some point worth 2.5 billion Rubbles which he foolishly spent on a box of shining toy marbles. He then lost the box of marbles and was forced to start over. Since times were tough in Russia at the time, he decided to move to the states Where he is now working on his Ph.D. diploma in psychology which he hopes to exchange one day for a new shining box of marbles. In case of an improv emergency call me 24/7:  1-800-translate-2-neuroscience What? It’s a real number! “te-2-neuroscience” is the extension.

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