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Journal Article

The storytelling brain: How neuroscience stories help bridge the gap between research and society


Willems,  Roel M.
Center for Language Studies, External Organizations;
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, External Organizations;
Neurobiology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Martinez-Conde, S., Alexander, R. G., Blum, D., Britton, N., Lipska, B. K., Quirk, G. J., et al. (2019). The storytelling brain: How neuroscience stories help bridge the gap between research and society. The Journal of Neuroscience, 39(42), 8285-8290. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1180-19.2019.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-E079-7
Active communication between researchers and society is necessary for the scientific community’s involvement in developing sciencebased
policies. This need is recognized by governmental and funding agencies that compel scientists to increase their public engagement
and disseminate research findings in an accessible fashion. Storytelling techniques can help convey science by engaging people’s imagination
and emotions. Yet, many researchers are uncertain about how to approach scientific storytelling, or feel they lack the tools to
undertake it. Here we explore some of the techniques intrinsic to crafting scientific narratives, as well as the reasons why scientific
storytellingmaybe an optimal way of communicating research to nonspecialists.Wealso point out current communication gaps between
science and society, particularly in the context of neurodiverse audiences and those that include neurological and psychiatric patients.
Present shortcomings may turn into areas of synergy with the potential to link neuroscience education, research, and advocacy