“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, looking to the brain for insight on how neurons alight when we hear a tale, to developmental psychology for clues about the role of storytelling in learning, and to storytellers themselves for explanations that ultimately inform a greater understanding of who we are as a species.