General, Research, Technology

Why do people need laughter scientifically?

Scientifically speaking, laughter is the mosta common human reaction to funny situations or tickling. It manifests itself in the form of issuing specific sounds, the implementation of involuntary movements of the muscles of the face and upper body, as well as the active work of the respiratory apparatus. Scientists and philosophers have been trying for centuries to understand why people generally need such a strange reaction. During this time, they managed to understand that laughter is needed not only for mental health, but also for muscle development... They also found out that they cannot laugh.only people, but also many animals. There are many types of laughter, and this reaction is often of great benefit to our body. As you can see, laughter is not such a simple phenomenon. So let's talk a little about it now.

Shot from the movie "Joker"


  • 1 What is laughter like?
  • 2 The benefits of laughter for the human body
    • 2.1 Benefits for the body
    • 2.2 Benefits to the mind
  • 3 Why does a person laugh when tickled?

What is laughter like?

In 1764, explorer James BeattyBeattie) divided laughter into two kinds. In his opinion, laughter from tickling is "animal", and from funny situations - "sentimental". But if you observe yourself and those around you, sooner or later you will notice that there are even more types of laughter. More often than not, people laugh at jokes, but sometimes they laugh out of joy. People may also laugh out of embarrassment or envy.

Based on this, a large number of categories of laughter can be distinguished:

  • humorous, arising from funny situations and jokes;
  • jubilant, which arises with exultation and excess of strength;
  • facilitating, which is an expression of nervous discharge;
  • laughter from embarrassment, considered a defense mechanism;
  • physiological, associated with tickling and substance use;
  • pathological, which is common in people with mental disorders;
  • ritual, which is imitated during various rites of some peoples.

It turns out that in order to laugh, it is not necessary for a person to hear a joke or to be tickled. There are many reasons for this reaction.

See also: Is it true that a smile cheers you up?

The benefits of laughter for the human body

Recently, a professor spoke about the benefits of laughter.cognitive psychology Janet Gibson. According to her, when laughing, a person benefits from both a physiological point of view and an emotional one. But let's talk about everything in order.

Benefits for the body

In this regard, babies receive the most.As a rule, children begin to laugh meaningfully as early as the fourth month of their life. Janet Gibson believes that during this time, laughter helps children develop their upper body muscles. This is because laughter is not just a special type of breathing. When a person laughs, many facial muscles work, as well as the shoulders and other parts of the body. As for adults, thanks to laughter, to some extent, they keep their bodies in good shape. But most of the benefits come in terms of emotions.

Laughter is the most physiologically beneficial for children.

Good for the mind

During laughter, a person activates threeareas of the brain. First, it is the motor cortex, which is responsible for body movement. Secondly, this is the frontal lobe, which, among other things, helps to understand the meaning of jokes and the context of current situations. Third, it is the limbic system, which is responsible for emotions. The active work of all these departments helps to form new neural connections, which means it makes a person smarter. Research has shown that laughter helps control levels of the "happiness hormone" serotonin, just like antidepressants. This means that laughter helps to cope with stress, which is often the cause of serious illness.

We can say that comedy has a good effect on our body.

Scientists are also sure that laughter helps a personsocialize. For example, when laughter arises in a group of people, they become closer to each other. Some public people use this - they tell a joke, and the listeners laugh and begin to treat them better.

See also: What Can Chimpanzees Tell About Human Friendship?

Why does a person laugh when tickled?

There is no exact answer to this question, there areonly theories. The most plausible of these is that tickling laughter is just a reflex, as are chaotic movements. Most of all, the inner side of the auricles, ribs, armpits, feet and other “delicate” parts of the human body are prone to tickling. Most likely, we react so vividly to tickling because we inherited this ability from our ancestors. Thousands of years ago, it was important for them to feel dangerous insects crawling over their bodies and tickling helped them a lot in this.

Why tickling is necessary for modern people - scientists do not know exactly

With all this, a person cannot tickle himselfyourself and this is a scientifically proven fact. The fact is that the brain understands that a person tickles himself and there is no obvious threat to his body. After that, the cerebellum region of the brain is activated, which suppresses reflexes such as chaotic body movements and laughter. But people with cerebellar lesions can tickle themselves. The same applies to people with schizophrenia, because some of them feel that their hands are not controlled by themselves, but by “someone else”.

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There is another article on our site on the topic of laughter.In 2019, Daria Eletskaya told why a person sometimes starts crying when laughing. This must have happened to every person and it seems like it's time to find out why this is happening. Enjoy reading!

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