Why We Tell Stories: The Science of Narrative

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Jay Allison

Jay Allison is an independent journalist, documentary maker, and leader in public broadcasting. He is a frequent producer for NPR news programs and This American Life, and a six-time Peabody Award winner. He is well known for his various roles as envisioner, curator, and producer of The Moth Radio Hour, Lost & Found Sound, This I Believe—and he co-edited the bestselling books based on that series. He is also founder of Transom.org, the Public Radio Exchange, and WCAI, the public radio station on Cape Cod where Allison lives with his family.

Stories have existed in many forms—cave paintings, parables, poems, tall tales, myths—throughout history and across almost all human cultures. But is storytelling essential to survival? Join a spirited discussion seeking to explain the uniquely human gift of narrative—from how neurons alight when we hear a tale, to the role of storytelling in cognitive development, to the art of storytelling itself, which informs a greater understanding of who we are as a species.

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  1. […] Stories have existed in many forms—cave paintings, parables, poems, tall tales, myths—throughout history and across almost all human cultures. But is storytelling essential to survival? Join a spirited discussion seeking to explain the uniquely human gift of narrative—from how neurons alight when we hear a tale, to the role of… [read more]  […]

  2. […] “Stories have existed in many forms—cave paintings, parables, poems, tall tales, myths—throughout history and across almost all human cultures. But is storytelling essential to survival? Join a spirited discussion seeking to explain the uniquely human gift of narrative—from how neurons alight when we hear a tale, to the role of… [read more]”  […]