Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laughter perception networks in brain different for mocking, joyful or ticklish laughter

Date:
May 8, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A laugh may signal mockery, humor, joy or simply be a response to tickling, but each kind of laughter conveys a wealth of auditory and social information. These different kinds of laughter also spark different connections within the "laughter perception network" in the human brain depending on their context, according to new research.

Different kinds of laughter also spark different connections within the "laughter perception network" in the human brain depending on their context, according to new research.
Credit: © Monkey Business / Fotolia

A laugh may signal mockery, humor, joy or simply be a response to tickling, but each kind of laughter conveys a wealth of auditory and social information. These different kinds of laughter also spark different connections within the "laughter perception network" in the human brain depending on their context, according to scientists.

Related Articles


The research was published May 8 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Dirk Wildgruber and colleagues from the University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Laughter in animals is a form of social bonding based on a primordial reflex to tickling, but human laughter has come a long way from these playful roots. Though many people laugh when they're tickled, 'social laughter' in humans can be used to communicate happiness, taunts or other conscious messages to peers. Here, researchers studied participants' neural responses as they listened to three kinds of laughter: joy, taunt and tickling.

"Laughing at someone and laughing with someone leads to different social consequences," says Wildgruber. "Specific cerebral connectivity patterns during perception of these different types of laughter presumably reflect modulation of attentional mechanisms and processing resources.

The researchers found that brain regions sensitive to processing more complex social information were activated when people heard joyous or taunting laughter, but not when they heard the 'tickling laughter'. However, 'tickling laughter' is more complex than the other types at the acoustic level, and consequently activated brain regions sensitive to this higher degree of acoustic complexity. These dynamic changes activated and connected different regions depending on the kind of laughter participants heard. Patterns of brain connectivity can impact cognitive function in health and disease. Though some previous research has examined how speech can influence these patterns, this study is among the first few to examine non-verbal vocal cues like laughter.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dirk Wildgruber, Diana P. Szameitat, Thomas Ethofer, Carolin Brück, Kai Alter, Wolfgang Grodd, Benjamin Kreifelts. Different Types of Laughter Modulate Connectivity within Distinct Parts of the Laughter Perception Network. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (5): e63441 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063441

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Laughter perception networks in brain different for mocking, joyful or ticklish laughter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508172133.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, May 8). Laughter perception networks in brain different for mocking, joyful or ticklish laughter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508172133.htm
Public Library of Science. "Laughter perception networks in brain different for mocking, joyful or ticklish laughter." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508172133.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2015) — The use of complex tools has often been seen as a defining characteristic of humanity, but that notion is now in question. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins