"What we haven't done is to produce a literary survey of eight types of joke. This couldn't be further from the nature of our research and I feel it requires clarification. What we're looking at is the importance of pattern recognition to the brain and the processes by which that recognition is effected. The eight patterns, far from being categories of joke formation, are therefore flexible processes of apprehension. When those processes occur in surprising circumstances, the brain rewards the individual for their achievement. What this also means is that we aren't just concerned here with comedic entertainment, but also situations such as when you turn up to work wearing the same tie as a colleague and find yourself laughing. Humour is therefore a faculty for the apprehension of any information, not just a social diversion.
"On an evolutionary level the recognition of patterns provides a remarkable survival advantage. The power of patterns includes the recognition of environmental and climatic trends, behavioural patterns in predators, prey and competing species or conspecifics, providing an insight into information that would produce significant survival advantages.
"Further, pattern recognition doesn't just mean that the brain can easily recognize an entity in the same or a different context, it also means that the same quality, the same valuable property, can be recognized in a different entity. This provides the brain with a built-in capacity for adaptation to changing environments. Some researchers suggest that a contributory factor in the extinction of the Neanderthals was their inability to vary their diet. Humans, on the other hand, could recognize the same properties of 'good to eat' or 'nutritious' (or any number of other properties regarding texture, form or smell) in different foodstuffs (such as fish) not yet part of their s
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