A visitor to the Wellcome Collection's 2012 exhibition "Brains: The mind as matter" looks at a functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) showing a human brain as it listens to Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" and Kant's third Critique. Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

The warmer orange colors show parts of the brain most active during improvisational rap. The blue regions are most active when rappers performed a memorized piece. NIDCD hide caption

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NIDCD

Matt Langione, a subject in the study, reads Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Results from the study suggest that blood flow in the brain differs during leisurely and critical reading activities. L.A. Cicero/Stanford University hide caption

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L.A. Cicero/Stanford University

A Lively Mind: Your Brain On Jane Austen

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Researchers are using MRI scans to learn more about the brains of people with extraordinary memory. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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iStockphoto.com

Why Can Some People Recall Every Day Of Their Lives? Brain Scans Offer Clues

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Megan Lutz, left, and Justin Chun react to amateur comedian Robert Lynch at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan, N.Y. Lynch is an anthropologist researching what laughing reveals about us. Melanie Burford for NPR hide caption

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Melanie Burford for NPR

An Anthropologist Walks Into A Bar And Asks, 'Why Is This Joke Funny?'

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Researchers studying brains want to know what's happening in an area called the premotor cortex — the place in the brain that gears up for something the body is about to do, like swimming. Above, Michael Phelps dives off the starting blocks in the final heat of the men's 400-meter individual medley during the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Omaha, Neb., on June 25. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images

How You Move Your Arm Says Something About Who You Are

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Unrefrigerated brains in preserving solution are stacked high on shelves at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center at McLean Hospital. Olin College of Engineering/Flickr hide caption

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Olin College of Engineering/Flickr

This image shows the grid structure of the major pathways of the brain. It was created using a scanner that's part of the Human Connectome Project, a five-year effort which is studying and mapping the human brain. MGH-UCLA Human Connectome Project hide caption

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MGH-UCLA Human Connectome Project

How Your Brain Is Like Manhattan

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The most common cause of brain injury in premature infants is a lack of oxygen in the days and weeks after birth, researchers say. Ibrahim Usta/AP hide caption

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Ibrahim Usta/AP

Why Brain Injuries Are More Common In Preemies

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