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Things You May Not Know About Laughter

Laughter is really fun and why is laughter so much fun?

Rats are Ticklish too

If you have not seen a rat laugh? Then tickle and it will laugh as chimps laugh and dogs laugh. But rats aren’t laughing at jokes. They laugh when they are playing, the same way humans do, and this shows they are happy, whilst also encourage bonding. The rats that played more, laughed more and the ones that laughed more preferred to be with other rats that laughed. This evidence shows that human laughter has evolved from play vocalisation, a behaviour seen in mammals too. In humans laughter has developed into an important emotional expression, used through other channels of communication like digital media from smiley emoticons to LOL.

Laughter isn’t always about Jokes

Ask adults what makes them laugh, and most will tell you its jokes and humour. But they would be wrong. Intriguingly, within these conversations, we are still not laughing at jokes: we laugh at statements and comments that do not seem on the face of them to be remotely funny. It's a form of communication, not a reaction. The science of laughter is telling us that laughter is less to do with jokes and more a social behaviour which we use to show people that we like them and that we understand them. A bonding ritual, a feel good factor is what keeps us amused and wanting to be in the same company always.

You can tell the difference between deliberate laughter and helpless laughter

Our brain scans also reveal that laughter is contagious. Even when someone is having their brain scanned, which is not really very funny, you can see their brain responding to the laughter by preparing their facial muscles to join in. And the more that someone shows a contagious response to laughter, the better they are at telling whether a laugh is real or forced.

People that you know are funnier

The fact that laughter encourages laughter is why a presenter an MC at comedy clubs will spend a lot of time warming up the audience and keeping the energy high between acts. With familiarity and our own expectations are still often at the heart of laughter. People will find jokes funnier if they think they were told by a famous person.

Does Laughter make you Fitter?

The internet is full of claims that laughter is great for your health. It's sadly not true however that laughter burns more calories than going for a run. Although laughing does raise energy expenditure and heart rate by about 10-20%, this is on the order of burning an extra 10-40 calories for every 10-15 minutes laughing. You would have to laugh solidly for up to three hours to burn off a packet of ready salted crisps.

Relationships can last Longer when you laugh

The couples that used laughter and smiling not only felt better immediately but also reported higher levels of satisfaction in their relationship, and stayed together for longer. This shows us that laughter is an emotion that we can use with those with whom we are emotionally close, to make ourselves feel better. This is critical to our enjoying a happy mood, but maybe even more important when circumstances are making us feel bad.

Laughter and precise timing

In conversations, people time their laughter to occur very precisely at the ends of sentences. Even people speaking in sign language do this - despite the fact that they could laugh throughout their "silent" conversation if they wished to. I'm intrigued by how comedians co-ordinate the responses to their routines from the stage. It's also difficult to learn to have the confidence to leave a pause for the audience to laugh, and to cope if they don't. Comedians are very sensitive to the way that laughter can grow and fade in a room, and leaving a space for laughter to happen at all is a real skill.

Laughter is very attractive

Can you really laugh someone into bed? One study of personal ads found that both men and women specified a sense of humour more frequently than intelligence, education, profession or sexual drive. Another found that we rate strangers as more attractive if they laugh at our jokes and embrace our character.

Something’s are almost guaranteed to make you laugh

One of the best tools are clips of people trying to not to laugh in situations where laughter is highly inappropriate. In situations of awkwardness things can be very contagious and laughter in the most inappropriate stage can certainly be hard to contain.

There are no universal jokes but a simple smile can make us feel good and at easy, laughter is a universal language, if you want to make lots of friends and portray positive energy laugh, every situation is a chance for laughter.