Why We Tell Stories: The Science of Narrative – Full Program

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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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science_narrative

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” says American author Joan Didion. Stories have existed in all forms—parables, poems, tall tales, myths, novels, plays, songs—across almost all cultures and throughout human history. But is storytelling essential to survival? Is it a driver of evolution or a byproduct? What is the primal urge that drove our distant ancestors to crawl into a dark cave and paint portraits on rocky walls? Join a spirited discussion of how science has begun to explain the uniquely human gift of narrative,...[Read more]

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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]”  […]