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The human brain craves stories, forever seeking characters to captivate its imagination. A skilled storyteller, to truly engage their audience, they must achieve narrative transportation, where minds are transported into the heart of the tale.

Stories connect people

When we hear a story, our brains focus more on what the characters are thinking or feeling, rather than just the events. This helps us practice social skills and strengthen our brain connections.

According to Dr. Paul J. Zak, In his recent MIT SMR article, “The Neuroscience of Customer Experience,” author Paul J. Zak shows how pairing neurological insights with design thinking, he says that stories release oxytocin, known as the “love hormone,” which builds bonding and trust. Zak says sustained attention is a “scarce resource” in our brains

Storytelling synchronizes the brains of the teller and listener. In a study, researchers found that a listener’s brain activity mirrored the storyteller’s, with only a few seconds’ delay.

Why the brain loves stories

Stories, being a social glue, have existed throughout human history, uniting people across cultures and ages, offering a way to make sense of the world together.

Liz Neeley, former executive director of Story Collider said,

“Stories are the ways in which we knit together events, that we postulate about causality, that we resolve ambiguity. We identify who the heroes are and who the villains are.”

Listening to stories can help individuals comprehend their emotions and navigate personal situations. Well-crafted narratives simplify complex ideas, allowing listeners to connect with the content on a personal level.

Homo narrans

The storytelling human is one of a number of binomial names for the human species modeled on the commonly used term Homo sapiens (‘wise human’). The term emphasizes the primacy of storytelling over, for example, language…

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