Thursday, June 05, 2008

Oh Good, Something Else To Compare In The Lockeroom Shower

We're coming to you today from the Mine Is Bigger Than Yours Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. MiBtY is a subsidy of the Size Matters Corporation in partnership with OMFreekin'G!!1!!, LLC.

Now, we know what you're thinking and considering the Herculean effort we put into maintaining high moral and ethical standards on this blog, it wounds us deeply that thoughts such as the kind you are now having would even ever so fleetingly cross your mind.

Hahahahahaha!!! We crack us up. And that's the point.

Perceiving sarcasm, the smirking put-down that buries its barb by stating the opposite, requires a nifty mental trick that lies at the heart of social relations: figuring out what others are thinking. "Nifty mental trick." That's our middle name, but you can call us mental.

A lot of the social cognition we take for granted and learn through childhood, like the ability to appreciate that someone else is being ironic or sarcastic or angry — the so-called theory of mind that allows us to get inside someone else’s head. Ah, so you have to have the openness of a child to appreciate this blog. Or perhaps be child-like. Or childish, but let's not pick semantic nits.

Magnetic resonance scans revealed that the part of the brain lost among those who failed to perceive sarcasm was not in the left hemisphere of the brain, which specializes in language and social interactions, but in a part of the right hemisphere previously identified as important only to detecting contextual background changes in visual tests. “The right parahippocampal gyrus must be involved in detecting more than just visual context — it perceives social context as well,” Dr. Rankin said.

"Gyrus?" We thought that was a Greek sandwich.

Don't get it? Try some right frontal lobe enhancement, but if you're still laughing after four hours, seek a republican.

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