Why do we laugh?

  • Thread starter Myriad209
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I've never seen this discussion in a forum anywhere... but I'd really like to know if there is a scientific explanation for laughing. We seem to laugh on a daily basis and me, over the silliest of things. Simple controversial use of words can trigger laughing. But it always seems that something out of the ordinary is funny, even sadistic things. Like I saw a video of this cat's head get chopped off by a sunroof (fake don't worry) it sounds horrible yet watching made me crack up.
 

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We laugh because we outselves think the things we are watching are funny.
 
  • #3
selfAdjoint
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Persefone said:
We laugh because we outselves think the things we are watching are funny.
That misses the point of the question. Why do we have this particular physical reaction - a spasmodic exhalation - to finding something funny? I don't think science really knows. I don't think science has a good line on "funny" for that matter.
 
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arildno
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On its most general level, I'd say laughing is a tension-relief mechanism which can be set in motion by a variety of causes.
That's a mere opinion, of course, no scientific fact.
 
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Humans are the only known species to laugh, and its much more complex then most of us know. When something makes us laugh till we tear up, we're using 90% of our bodies muscles, and our brains fireing so many signals, that its hard to measure.
It does make us feel better, and heal better after a trauma.
We know we can't control laughing, its built into our nero/network, so it happens automatically. Babies start to laugh by the age of 4 months. So its also a form of communication.
It has social aspects too....don't we all dread being laughed at?
I would imagine there are many reasons why we laugh.
 
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arildno
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Ever heard about hyenas laughing..? :wink:
 
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lol, I was actually very close to a pack of them once, needless to say I didn't share there sense of humor.
"ha ha ha lets eat the skinny girl"
 
  • #8
Astronuc
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Why do we laugh?
I was going to say, because we think something is funny.

Actually, it has positive feedback in the cerebral neural circuits, IIRC dopamine release. It must do something positive, because we seem to prefer laughing to other alternatives. :biggrin:
 

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