I came across this image about how storytelling affects the brain on PRX. It made me think about my work as a radio producer, and how the story of the person I’m recording impacts on me as an interviewer and listener.
There are some stories that will stay with me forever. It’s usually a key sentence, or something that evokes a clear visual image, or a moment in time. I’m not sure whether this is the ‘neural coupling’, or ‘mirroring’ referenced in this image, but listening to other peoples’ stories often shifts the way I see the world, and might even influence the way I narrate my own experiences. In this sense most stories, whether they’re sad or joyous, could be seen (or heard) as gifts of human experience. Gifts that might help us think and feel in more empathetic ways. And perhaps the role of the producer is to help the storyteller share their story in the most articulate and/or artful way possible, so that it can have an ongoing and lasting effect.