Human beings have the potential to develop a sense of humor and each is born with the capacity to laugh. (Padus, Emrika, et al. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions & Your Health. p 546-547. PA: Rodale Press, 1992.)

Laughter stimulates both sides of the brain to enhance learning. It eases muscle tension and psychological stress, which keeps the brain alert and allows people to retain more information. (Humor and Laughter: Health Benefits and Online Sources.)

Laughter is the most enjoyable form of human communication. Humans are the only animals able to appreciate all the shadings of humor; it integrates the limbic system with the frontal lobes. (Donahue, Phil. The Human Animal. p 331-334. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1985, 1986.)

Under acute stress, the two hemispheres of the brain become disconnected. Laughter improves creativity and problem-solving, and activates the limbic system in the brain, connecting the right and left sides. It helps you do more whole brain work. (O’Donnell, Sinara Stull. Laugh More at Work To Ease Office Stress. )

Humor processing (getting the joke and laughing) appears to involve parts of the frontal lobes and a component of the pleasure pathway, the anterior cortex of the hypothalamus. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 92-94. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Various portions of the brain work together to experience humor and laughter. Left hemisphere sets up the joke. Right hemisphere is involved in getting the joke. (Dossey, Larry, MD. Healing Beyond the Body. p 133-149. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2001.)

The left cerebral hemisphere creates the feeling of amusement and laughs when prompted. The right hemisphere “gets” the joke. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 36-38. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

EEG Studies of brain activity when subject laughed: Within four-tenths of a second of exposure to something potentially funny, an electrical wave moved through the cerebral cortex. If the wave took a negative charge, laughter resulted. (Brain, Marshall. How Laughter Works.)

Study: Laughter resulted when a small 2 cm by 2 cm area on the subject’s left superior frontal gyrus (part of the left frontal lobe) was stimulated. (What’s so Funny and Why: Laughter and the Brain.)

The left brain creates the feeling of amusement and so is quite happy to laugh at more or less anything when prompted. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 11, 36. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

When using or experiencing positive humor and mirthful laughter, the whole brain is involved, not just one side, and there's more coordination between both sides. (O’Donnell, Sinara Stull. Laugh More at Work To Ease Office Stress.)

Laughter stimulates both sides of the brain to enhance learning. It eases muscle tension and psychological stress, which keeps the brain alert and allows people to retain more information. (Humor and Laughter: Health Benefits and Online Sources.)

fMRI Studies of brain activities activates in two types of humor. High-level visual areas were activated during visual humor and classic language areas were activated during language-dependent humor. (Watson, Karli K., et al. Brain Activation during Sight Gags and Language-Dependent Humor.)

Study using EEG topographical brain mapping of an individual hearing a joke: left hemisphere began to process the words. Then the frontal lobe center of emotionality was activated. 120 milliseconds later the right hemisphere began processing the pattern. A few milliseconds later the occipital lobe showed increased activity. Delta waves increased, the brain got the joke, and laughter erupted. (Dunn, Joseph R., PhD, Ed. New Discoveries in Psychoneuroimmunology. p 6-7.(interview with Dr. Lee S. Berk).Humor & Health Letter, Vol III. No 6, Nov/Dec 1994, MS: Dunn.)

Refer to Laughter - Humor and the Brain for additional information.

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