No Humor? (was: Re: DC lesion? - a lesson?)

k p Collins kpaulc at [----------]earthlink.net
Tue Feb 17 21:39:32 EST 2004


"Doktor DynaSoar" <targeting at OMCL.mil> wrote in message
news:0uh430hkmrkvik146eao6flbl70fl5midn at 4ax.com...
> On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 13:40:46 +1000, "John H." <johnh at faraway.> wrote:
>
> } Peter,
> }
> } The best thing you can do for Ken is teach him your sense of humour and
> } lightheartedness. Damn, they're all so serious around here, not a joke
> } amongst the lot. I sometimes wonder if they smiled whether or not their
> } faces would crack. I can see the headlines now: Joke told at
Neuroscience
> } Conference. Plastic surgeons are working around the clock to repair
damage.
>
> A famous neuroscientist is out shopping with his wife, and clearly not
> enjoying himself. She notices, and tells him, "I'm going to go buy
> some shoes. Why don't you go to the bookstore and browse? I'll meet
> you out in front of the store in an hour." He agrees, and she goes
> off.
>
> While browsing in the bookstore, he catches the eye of a young,
> admiring co-ed. She starts a conversation with im, and soon, he is
> headed mto her place with her, where nature takes its course.
>
> Three hours later, realizing what he's done, he rushes back to the
> bookstore, and sees his wife waiting impatiently out front, arms
> crossed and foot tapping. Overcome with remorse, he tells her what
> happened, admitting everything, and begging her forgiveness.
>
> She listens to his whole speech, and waits for him to finish. When he
> does, she shakes her finger at him and exclaims, "DON'T LIE TO ME! YOU
> WERE AT THE LAB!"
>
> =====
>
> I've tested the above in a stand-up act in various situations. It's a
> big hit at scientific conferences. It goes right over the heads of
> most at generic comedy clubs.
>
> I'm presently at work on a paper for the Annals of Improbable Research
> on corrective phrenology. I've published there before, including being
> in their "Best Of" book. I'll do what I can to lighten the mood some.

"Laughter" is a mechanism of communication, but it
differs from language because it always consists of a
'shunting' of relatively-high TD E/I that would, otherwise
[if it were not 'shunted'], result in information-exchange
becoming directed away from the information-content
contained in the verbal dynamics that are transpiring.
Crying also falls into this category of communication
dynamics, but is aligned differently with respect to
global TD E/I [which can also be investigated by the
simple method described below].

This is all fairly easy to Verify, but one must treat
"laughter" as a 'shunting' operator with respect to
TD E/I, and not look for other information-content i
n it. It does communicate, but does not do so with
respect to language-specific information-content.

A first approach that comes to mind is to have naive
subjects interact with others who are coached to either
allow laughter or disallow it during interaction, and to
monitor levels of "stress" in the naive subjects. Use
standard 'lie-detector' apparatus, EEG, and, if available,
other scanning methods [tell subjects jokes while their
heads are held still in a scanner tube - you know,
sort of like what's been going-on in b.n these 'days'.]

You'll get differential correlations, depending on whether
the coached participants allow or behaviorally-'disallow'
laughter, and these results will permit the TD E/I-'shunting'
of laughter to be quantified.

The topic is quite rich, and really does need to be
Formalized. The results will be significant within
Behavioral Neuroscience.

k. p. collins





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