GO IN DEPTH

What Is Laughter?

What Is Laughter? Photo Credit: Clipart.com.

Introduction

When you think something is funny, you laugh. But do you know why and how you laugh? This part of the lesson addresses the science of laughter in terms of how the brain reacts to an external stimulus that is funny.


Exploration

Visit the Laughter on the Brain website to find out more.

Take notes on these questions as you read. You will discuss them later with the whole class.

  • What five areas of the human brain have regular electrical activity following exposure to humorous material?
  • What part of the limbic system is associated with the production of loud, uncontrollable laughter?
  • Damage to what brain region restricts one's sense of humor?
  • What four structures in the brain's limbic system seem to play a role in laughter?
  • What two steps are necessary to comprehend humor?


In this part of the lesson, you will examine the benefits of laughter in terms of our social, mental, and physical well-being.

Read these resources:


Take notes on these questions as you read. You will discuss them later with the whole class.

  • What is laughter?
  • What is the major mental benefit of laughter?
  • What are five benefits of laughter to our physical well-being?

Knowledge Check

Read the article Humor, Laughter, and the Brain, from the Society for Neuroscience.

After you have read the article, describe the process that the brain goes through when you hear a joke. Then draw a picture that illustrates each of the three basic components of laughter described in the article.


This esheet is a part of the The Laughing Brain 1: How We Laugh lesson.

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Esheet Details

Grades
AAAS