WHAT MAKES PEOPLE LAUGH ? By: Tanvi. N

It’s break time!!! You’re heading to the cafeteria and your friend tells a joke. “ HA HA HA!!!!” PAUSE. Have you ever wondered where does this big loud sound comes from? And, what causes this enormous laugh? Or why am I laughing, it isn’t funny? Is it bad for you? Well all your questions will be answered in this article.

What does your brain/body do to make you laugh ?

According to AMA(American Medical Association), the frontal lobe, located at the front of the brain, gives you an emotional response. The left side of the brain interprets information, like it takes in the words and the structure of a joke. The right side of your brain identifies the humor, like the funny part of the joke. Also, the limbic system, is in the midline of brain, which controls the basic emotional responses. Like fear, laughter and hunger. The motor areas, on top of the limbic system, generates the reaction, like giggle, basically the physical reaction. This shows that when you laugh your brain is taking in the joke and finding the funny part and making you laugh.

Limbic System
Motor Areas

Do people have funny bones to make them laugh?

Your funny bone is actually called your funny ulnar nerve. The Ulnar nerve, inner side of the arm, It is very close to your top layer of your skin near the elbow,

runs through your humerus bone,right under your shoulders. The ulnar nerve runs through a groove in your ulna, which is one of two bones in your forearm. it's protected only by skin and fat, making it vulnerable,being wounded, to bumps. When you hit your funny bone, you're actually hitting the nerve against your bone, causing tingling and pain which shoots through the areas where the nerve does its work: down the forearm and hand and into the ring and pinky fingers. So when you hit it, you will get a really intense pins-and-needles feeling and you might also cry. As it might make you cry, it will give you this feeling to laugh at the same time, like when you're being tickled. This means that your funny bone is near your skin and it can make you cry and laugh at the same time.

Funny Bone

Why is laughing contagious?

Your brain responds to the sounds of laughter. The sound triggers a corresponding emotional response. Your brain is wired to answer to the sound of laughter. According to Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at the University College London"It seems that it's absolutely true that 'laugh and the whole world laughs with you,". When you laugh everyone laughs because of how contagious laughing is. It prepares your face muscles for the laughter. A sound of laughter leads to muscle movement. Your face muscles move in a way that is related to the sound of the laughter. Although laughing may be contagious, your brain knows whether the laugh by another person is fake or not. Because humans emotions are highly contagious. This means when you look at someone laughing your brain makes your muscles move to make you laugh.

DID YOU KNOW ?

Laughing reduces chances of a heart attack.

Laughing boosts your heart rate.

Humans laugh 17 times a day.

According to Kurt Vonnegut “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” that laughing is not the only emotion.

Laughing is good and healthy for your life. You don’t just laugh by yourself, your brain does many things to make you laugh. You may also laugh because of your funny bone. But remember that laughing is contagious, According to Anthony Burgess “Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” When it says “ Laugh and the world laughs with you,” that means laughing is contagious. “ Snore and you sleep alone” is an extension to what he means. Next time you laugh think about, is it funny? Or hey are you crying and laughing at the same time?

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