The latest study used sophisticated scans to monitor the brains of 10 men and 10 women as they watched 70 black-and-white cartoons. The researchers found similarities between the way that male and female brains respond to humour. But some brain regions were activated more in women, including both the left prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic reward centre. The researchers say their findings suggest women place a greater emphasis on the language of humour, possibly employing a more analytical approach. They also believe that the women in the study were less likely to expect the cartoons to be funny – so when they were, their pleasure centre lit up with greater intensity than their male counterparts.