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Neurobiology of Humour

Matt Jones jonesmat at ohsu.edu
Mon Jul 27 11:21:54 EST 1998

In article <35BA8774.A047C5D7 at tyenet.com> Rod O'Connor,
roconnor at tyenet.com writes:
>Could anyone suggest a few references regarding the neurobiology of
>humour or laughter?

Here's a few from a medline search on "laughter":

Nature 1998 Feb 12;391(6668):650 
Electric current stimulates laughter.
Fried I, Wilson CL, MacDonald KA, Behnke EJ

New Dir Child Dev 1997;77:5-24 
Communication of smiling and laughter in mother-infant play: research on
emotion from a dynamic systems perspective.
Fogel A, Dickson KL, Hsu H, Messinger D, Nelson-Goens GC, Nwokah E

Percept Mot Skills 1997 Dec;85(3 Pt 2):1291-1302 
Polygraphic evaluation of laughing and smiling in schizophrenic and
depressive patients.
Sakamoto S, Nameta K, Kawasaki T, Yamashita K, Shimizu A

Pathological laughter and crying in unilateral stroke. 
Stroke. 1997 Nov; 28(11): 2321.

Social drinking and laughter. 
Psychol Rep. 1997 Oct; 81(2): 684. 

Effects of alcohol on responsive laughter and amusement.
Lowe G, Taylor SB

Here's the entire abstract for this last one.  Apparently, the joke's on
whatever funding organization paid for the study ;-)

"After consuming either an alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage, 48
subjects viewed a humorous film. Frequency of responsive laughter and
subjective amusement was significantly greater in the alcohol group."

There are a few neurological disorders (e.g., Angelman syndrome) where
one of the symptoms is paroxysmal laughter. It's unlikely that this is a
particularly funny disease.

And I have a request:
Anyone with offerings on "The Humour of Neurobiology", please post it


Matt Jones

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