Humor processing in patients with narcolepsy type 1: an fMRI analysis

Takeaway

  • Patients with narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) have abnormal neuronal humor-processing when compared with controls and demonstrate significantly higher activation in various cortical and subcortical regions including the thalamus, amygdala and basal ganglia when watching neutral-rated movies containing a ‘potential’ humorous punchline.

Why this matters

  • Overactivation of cortical and subcortical regions of the brain has been previously shown to be linked to humor, cataplexy and rapid eye movement-sleep.

  • This “overactive” brain state indicates that NT1 patients may have a hypersensitivity to potential humorous stimuli, suggesting a lower threshold for activating the humor response.