Thank you Vaughan at Mind Hacks for saving me another long-winded rant about this subject. Vaughan takes an article in the NYTimes to task for suggesting that sarcasm “resides” in particular areas of the brain:
Finally, to say that sarcasm “resides” in one particular place in the brain from a study like this is just daft. It’s like concluding fun “resides” in a particular area of the city because you’ve noticed that the population enjoyed themselves less after the cinema burnt down.
Read the whole thing.
Mental processes don’t live anywhere. They are derived from the systematic interaction of many brain regions each performing a specific information processing task. Likewise, abstractions like sarcasm — even if they could be boiled down to discrete mental processes…which I assert they can’t — don’t live in the parahippocampal gyrus or anywhere else for that matter.