Neuroscientist and part time stand-up comic Prof Sophie Scott reveals 10 things you probably didn't know about laughter. Laughter really is funny. The first time I did stand-up comedy my only coherent thought afterwards was that I wanted to do it again immediately, and do it better. Why is laughter so much fun? As a psychologist, this is especially puzzling as pretty much everything we think about laughter is wrong.
If you want to communicate with someone from across the globe who speaks a different language, all you have to do is laugh. Laughter is a form of communication thats universally recognized, which suggests it has deep importance to humankind.
It's thought that laughter may have occurred before humans could speak as a playful way for mothers and infants to communicate, as a form of play vocalization, or to strengthen group bonds. Even today our brains are wired to prime us to smile or laugh when we hear others laughing.
10 Fascinating Facts About Laughter
Professor Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist and stand-up comic, put together these surprising facts about laughter.
1. Rats Laugh When Theyre Tickled
Rats laugh when theyre tickled, and the more they play together, the more they laugh. Psychologist Jack Panksepp first observed laughing rats in the 1990s; he needed special equipment to hear it, as rats laughs are very high pitched.
Research has shown that there a number of health benefits contributed to smiling and laughing. In addition to improved health, these simple facial expressions and common human behaviors can have a distinctive positive affect on other factors all areas of your life. When you smile and laugh, a number of physiological changes occur in your body, mostly without you being consciously aware of it happening.
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