Revealing ourselves without realizing it

When we talk about ourselves, telling others who we are, researchers say the same part of our brain lights up as when we are brainstorming ideas, discussing our dreams, or speaking extraneously. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found this to be the case, even when musicians improvise. The same area of the brain is at work in these off-handed dispatches, putting on display a musical autobiography of sorts.

When we are engaged in these intensely personal pursuits, we not only reveal intimate parts of ourselves, the researchers say a part of the brain involved in self-control and planning is shut down.

Stephen Goforth