[Excerpted from: Scientific American, Mind & Brain, Mind Matters, July 16, 2013]
“The ability to communicate—with almost anyone, about almost anything—has played a central role in our species’ ability to not just survive, but flourish. If you’re like most people, your own thoughts and experiences may be your favorite topic of conversation. On average, people spend 60 percent of conversations talking about themselves.
Why, in a world full of ideas to discover, develop, and discuss, do people spend the majority of their time talking about themselves? Recent research suggests a simple explanation: because it feels good.
In an initial fMRI experiment, researchers compared neural activation during self-disclosure to activation during other-focused communication. Three neural regions stood out. (See the figure at top left showing the brain cut vertically in the middle – the forehead is to the left and the back of the head to the right in the picture). Continue reading