Navigation Links
The first laugh: New study posits evolutionary origins of two distinct types of laughter

In an important new study from the forthcoming Quarterly Review of Biology, biologists from Binghamton University explore the evolution of two distinct types of laughter ?laughter which is stimulus-driven and laughter which is self-generated and strategic.

"Laughter that occurs during everyday social interaction in response to banal comments and humorless conversation is now being studied," write Matthew Gervais and David Sloan Wilson. "The unstated issue is whether such laughter is similar in kind to laughter following from humor."

Using empirical evidence from across disciplines, including theory and data from work on mirror neurons, evolutionary psychology, and multilevel selection theory, the researchers detail the evolutionary trajectory of laughter over the last 7 million years. Evolutionarily elaborated from ape play-panting sometime between 4 million years ago and 2 million years ago, laughter arising from non-serious social incongruity promoted community play during fleeting periods of safety. Such non-serious social incongruity, it is argued, is the evolutionary precursor to humor as we know it.

However, neuropsychological and behavioral studies have shown that laughter can be more than just a spontaneous response to such stimuli. Around 2 million years ago, human ancestors evolved the capacity for willful control over facial motor systems. As a result, laughter was co-opted for a number of novel functions, including strategically punctuating conversation, and conveying feelings or ideas such as embarrassment and derision.

"Humans can now voluntarily access the laughter program and utilize it for their own ends, including smoothing conversational interaction, appeasing others, inducing favorable stances in them, or downright laughing at people that are not liked," write Gervais and Wilson.


Source:University of Chicago Press Journals

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. A genes first kiss sets off that affair known as puberty
2. Love at first smell
3. Worlds largest rainforest drying experiment completes first phase
4. PCRM develops worlds first cruelty-free insulin assay
5. Expression Project for Oncology (expO) completes first phase of standardized gene expression analyses
6. World-first Living Donor Islet Cell Transplant A Success; Procedure Offers Promise For Diabetics
7. DuPonts first biologically derived polymer receives global recognition
8. Anti cancer virotherapy well tolerated in first human administration, research finds
9. Unlike other mammals, newborn dolphins and orcas stay active 24/7 during first months of development
10. The first impact factor for PLoS Biology ?13.9
11. Moffitt-USF head toward first human trials of anti-cancer drug that targets protein AKT
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/19/2015)... YORK , Nov. 19, 2015  Although some ... market is dominated by a few companies, according to ... companies own 51% of the market share of the ... The World Market for Molecular Diagnostic s ... "The market is still controlled by one company ...
(Date:11/17/2015)...  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. Dick ... --> --> Mr. ... partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest global ... in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating Group, ... from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, he ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015   Growing need for low-cost, easy ... been paving the way for use of biochemical ... analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense ... in medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing ... continuous emphasis on improving product quality and growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... • Jeon Jin Bio ... porcine and rodent control solutions , Bird ... oil, works across all sensory modalities including visual, smell, taste and touch, enabling safe, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... November 27, 2015 ... popularity of companion diagnostics is one of ... market with pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic manufacturers ... tests. . --> ... report on global cancer biomarkers market spread ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 --> ... - 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow ... in long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the ... manual errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample ... plays a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... cat and human plaque and pave the way for more ... problems in cats     --> ... most commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little ... now. Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: