Daniel David davidd at
Thu Mar 19 11:34:08 EST 1998

On Wed, 18 Mar 1998, Laura wrote:

> Does anyone happen to know what goes on in the brain when someone laughs
> or is exposed to humorous material?

In the March 10 issue of the NY times there was an interesting article on
this very subject.  Apparently a group of neurosurgeons at UCLA were
attempting to alleviate the symptoms of a 16 year old girl with severe
epileptic seizures.  Using an electric probe they found that they could
make her laugh by stimulating a spot in the supplementary motor area.  Not
only would she laugh, which could be interpretted as an ambiguous response
to stimulation, but she appeared to percieve "genuine humor in her mundane
surroundings... At one point she told the researchers 'You guys are just
so funny -- standing around'"

If you are feeling motivated there is an article in the journal Nature by
Dr. Itzhak Fried.


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