Stories mould who we are, from our character to our cultural identity.
They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions, and shape our politics and beliefs.
We use them to construct our relationships, to keep order in our law courts, to interpret events in our newspapers and social media.
Storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human.
There have been many attempts to understand what makes a good story - from Joseph Campbell's well-worn theories about myth and archetype to recent attempts to crack the 'Bestseller Code'.
But few have used a scientific approach. This is curious, for if we are to truly understand storytelling in its grandest sense, we must first come to understand the ultimate storyteller - the human brain.
Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us.