uri hasson and neural coupling (brain syncing)

earlier this week, julian and heather of the million person project released their book, how your story sets you free. i was gifted a copy by my dear friend, austin, yesterday, and i’ve been devouring it. my goal was to finish it before the personal storytelling for social change class i teach started today but i didn’t quite make it.

but a section i did make it to in the book blew. my. mind.

on pages 17-18, heather and julian refer to someone named dr. uri hasson:

Groundbreaking work by Dr. Uri Hasson has shown that the brain of an individual listening to a story actually synchronizes with the brain of the individual telling the story—an event known as neural coupling.


that is freaking amazing.

i mean, in some ways, this feels like yet another example of western science catching up to and reinforcing things cultures have known literally forever: stories are really fucking important for our species.

but it’s still freakin cool.

i looked up a few articles and landed on this one that included the following quote:

Disagreement is part of all scientific research, but on the subject of persuasion, there’s a near-unanimous consensus among neuroscientists: Stories are the single best vehicle we have to transfer our ideas to one another.

there is a reason people from literally all over the world have sat around in circles and rooms for millenia and told each other stories.

more and more, i think netflix and television are (maybe unintentionally) getting many of us to give up one of the most powerful tools we have: our ability to tell stories. i wonder what would happen if in my/your building, instead of watching netflix or other tv, neighbors got together and the neighbor who had the tv urge would listen to stories from everyone else.

anyway, that’s enough of that. on to the next thing…

outstanding question: i wonder if/how mindfulness impacts this?

words / writing / post-processing
332w / 10m / 9min