What Is the Cause of Laughing? Brain Mysteries

Laughing is both natural and inborn capacity provoked by processes from the subconscious. The precise cause of laughter still remains a mystery. However, there are theories considered to be eligible for explanations of reasons for loud and sound expressions of joy.

Cute Baby Laughing

Baby Laughing

What Is the Reason For Laughing?

As astonishing as it may sound we don’t laugh because something is funny. Fun is the product of perception which is constantly developed from the mere birth up to the moment of death. Laugh goes beyond developed consciousness, deep into the subconscious levels. Some interesting facts:

  • People become capable of laughing way before they achieve the ability of speech. Three months is the age when babies start to titter and become the point perceived as cuteness overload.
  • Babies start laughing even when they are both blind and deaf. This implies the existence of a deep emotional layer as the foundation of this mysterious but ubiquitous phenomenon.

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Genetic Heritage – Signs of Intentions

Some theories claim that the cause of laughter can be found in the genetic heritage. Back in the stone age, when people, amalgamated into small hunter-gatherer tribes, fought for survival on a daily basis, meeting new groups of human beings encompassed potential fatality. The first contact was of great importance because it was base for estimating intentions strangers had. A smile was there as a kind of a pleasant emotional bridge that provided a certain degree of guarantee for the absence of hostility.

Panting Evolution – How Apes Laugh?

A group of primates having a good laugh.

Apes having a good time

There are scientists believing that panting behavior present in primate species is the core of human laughter. This can also be considered for genetic heritage but the difference, when compared to the previous example, is the moment of evolution. When monkeys are tickled the sound of panting is the ensuing consequence. It is how apes laugh. These sounds are also produced while they are playing. High pitched vocalization during fun time is a feature of other species as even rats produce high tones while doing their games. However, none of the beings and their laughter have such a high resemblance to humans like monkeys. It is the base argument for defending this theory. Laugh is used for manifesting playful intentions as well as showing interest in creating a closer relationship and strengthening connections.

Features of Laughter

There are many questions regarding laughter. One of them, which almost everyone has asked him/herself at least once, is why do I laugh for no reason.

Why Do I Laugh For No Reason?

We have spoken about the causes of laughing which are curved in the subconscious part of our brains as genetic heritage. What we haven’t mentioned are triggers for laughing. Those are the events that people, for one reason or another, perceive as funny and start laughing.

Laughing Process

Laughing is not intentional. It is a completely spontaneous reaction. It can be faked, but it is very hard to do it properly. When observing laughter through the measurements of sound frequencies there is a pattern that allows the distinguishment of genuine and fake laughter. Laughing can be triggered by a joke, a movie, a person’s act, etc… And it doesn’t always have to be positive and with the noble intentions in its core. We don’t always laugh with someone. Many times people laugh at other people and are very malicious while doing so. But in addition to all these, there are situations in which we can’t find a single trigger despite laughing to a degree in which tears go out of our eyes.

Gelastic Seizure – Laugh For Nothing

Joker laughing

Joker is laughing

A gelastic seizure or “gelastic epilepsy”, is a rare type of seizure that is featured by a sudden explosion of energy. Most of the time, that energy has a form of laughing or crying. Such occurrences have no obvious reason and are uncontrollable. As for the origin of the term “gelastic”, it can be traced back to the Greek word “gelos” meaning laughter. This seizure is more present with males.

Can Laughing Kill You?

There are rumors that laughing can kill. Those are not rumors but the facts. If its intensity lasts long enough and reaches a certain level, laughing can literally end your life. Such cases are extremely rare, but in this reality, our happiness can really lead to death. Dying of laughter is a result of cardiac arrest or asphyxiation due to an excessive fit of laughter. Most of the people have at least once, during their lifetimes, laughed to a point where they lost all of their breath. In very rare cases, the intensity goes much higher and causes death. Pathological laughing can be the culprit for this kind of fatal outcome. Another important note is that the chances of dying of explosive laughter are higher if you have some other medical issues like indigestion. The first victims of laughter can be traced back to Ancient Greece.

Why do I Laugh When People Get Hurt or Die?

If you have ever wondered why do you laugh at others while they are getting hurt or after hearing news of someone’s death, know that is it rarely psychopathy. Actually, it can be quite the opposite. Sometimes, people can’t accept reality as it is due to a great amount of fear and pain they would have to endure which is why they distance themselves from it through laughing.

How Laughing Affects Body?

Laughing is one of the best friends your organism can have. This statement isn’t a folk tale but a medical fact which states that laughing is strong medicine. There are multiple positive effects a good laugh will produce on your body:

  • Releases the body from tension and stress. The effect of a good laugh can last up to 45 minutes.
  • Boosts the immune system through increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
  • Facilitates the release of endorphins(natural hormone of well being).
  • Burns calories(for six-pack abs you still have to go to the gym).
  • Laughter reduces anger’s heavy load. Nothing beats anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh.
  • Laughter protects the heart through improving the state of the bloodstream.
  • Prolongs life.

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