Everybody loves a good pun but excessive and disruptive wisecracking is another thing. It turns out there’s a serious neurological condition called Witzelsucht, a compulsive urge to crack jokes and tell inappropriate stories day and night. And no, we’re not kidding.
One of the earliest documented cases of this pathological joking is from 1929 by German neurologist Otfrid Foerster. While operating on a male patient, Foerster started manipulating the cancerous growth. The patient, who was conscious throughout the procedure (a common practice at the time), started delivering pun after pun after awful pun.
Witzelsucht is a medical condition in which a person develops an obsession to wisecracking.
The same year, psychiatrist Abraham Brill reported observing patients who joked about “anything and everything” even when they weren’t being operated on. Many other cases have been reported since, and doctors believe this condition could be the result of brain damage in the frontal lobes.
Witzelsucht is believed to be the result of brain damage in the frontal lobes.
The brain processing for humor appears to take place in a network of regions around the frontal lobes. Damage in this area, according to experts, seems to disinhibit some of the signaling between the frontal lobes and the pleasure centers. While people suffering from Witzelsucht may find it difficult to comprehend other people’s complex jokes, their brains may trigger a dopamine kick and have them rolling on the floor laughing at their own bad puns and simplistic comedy.
Those with Witzelsucht also fail to realize the inappropriateness of their actions, so they become unresponsive to other people’s reactions.
In a BBC article, a man diagnosed with Witzelsucht suffered two strokes five years apart, and these strokes caused massive changes in his behavior. His once subdued sense of humor, for example, turned into compulsive joking. It drove his wife nuts.
Pathological joking can disrupt communication and ruin relationships.
He would wake up his wife in the middle of the night because he just had to tell her his jokes. His wife, at one point, asked him to simply write down all his thoughts, so she could get some sleep. This resulted in 50 pages of puns and other witticisms. Not all of them were funny, but for him, they were all comedy gold.
People with Witzelsucht may not find other people’s jokes funny but could get hysterical about by their own witticisms.
Jason Warren at University College London recently asked his frontotemporal dementia (a rare form of neurodegeneration that affects people at the prime of their life) patients to judge different cartoon strips. He then compared the results to scans of the patients’ brains. As he expected, many were bad at detecting more complex jokes and instead preferred simpler slapstick comedy. It also turned out that the harder the patients found the task, the more damage they showed in the “humor network.” Warren believes his findings in this experiment can help in studying Witzelsucht further.
Sudden change in sense of humor could signify bigger neurological problems.
Doctors and family members should pay attention to any changes in their patient’s or family member’s sense of humor, as these changes could signify a serious neurological condition.
It seems that laughter, in this case, may not be the best medicine.
Scientists Make Surprising Discoveries at the Bottom of Earth’s Deepest Hole
The attempt on the journey to the center of the Earth took 24 years.
Not much is known when it comes to the distances of what lies beneath the ground we stand on. There is more to know about the distance of galaxies than the deepest holes on Earth. Out of this curiosity, Soviet scientists in the 70s decided to conduct a study on the deepest part of the planet. For the next 24 years, they spent time drilling into the Earth’s crust.
What resulted from the probe was the Kola Superdeep Borehole, which had a depth of over 7.5 miles. To compare, the deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, has a depth of 6.8 miles.
Soviet scientists attempted to drill into the deepest part of the hole, which then resulted to the Kola Superdeep Borehole.
There Is Now A Way To ‘Download’ Knowledge To Your Brain, Science Claims
The Matrix just got real. Talk about life imitating art!
Gaining new knowledge, although rewarding, can be challenging at the same time. Just imagine having to read lots of books or check out various online references when you need to research about a certain topic.
So yes, it can be a time-consuming process and you just can’t help but feel overwhelmed sometimes. One way or another, you may have probably wished there was a way to simply ‘download’ information into your brain, just like in The Matrix!
Apparently, there is now a way to feed information directly into a person’s brain.
Scientists Replicated the Controversial Milgram Experiment With More Shocking Results
Will you push the last button?
Have you heard of the Milgram experiment? If you haven't yet, we'll tell you about it and about how the experiment was replicated recently, bearing the same striking results more than 50 years after it was first conducted.
The Milgram experiment was a highly controversial trial created by Stanley Milgram of Yale University back in the early 1960s. It was originally based on the behavior of Nazi soldiers and aimed to determine whether these underlings were innately evil or if they were only heedlessly following orders from an authoritarian leader.
To test this premise, the experiment involves having an observer, an authoritarian figure whom we'll call as the "scientist," in a room with the "participant" who sits in front of a microphone and several buttons. The scientist then instructs the participant to ask the person on the other end of the microphone, the person whom we'll call the "learner," a series of questions that he or she must answer correctly.
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