The Neuroscience of Laughter
Why do we laugh? Is it really all about comedy and humour? Can we ever take laughter seriously? In this talk, Professor Sophie Scott will explore the evolutionary roles of laughter and explore its use by mammals.
The lecture will establish the complex ways that humans use laughter, from social bonding to jokes, address how we learn to laugh, and how our understanding of laughter changes as we age.
Professor Scott will then go on to discuss individual differences in laughter and what this may mean, explore the brain basis of laughter, and look at laughter as a communicative behaviour. Finally, the talk will establish the ways that laughter can be used, jointly, to regulate stressful situations, and the kinds of relationships where this use of laughter may be possible.
About the Speaker:
Professor Sophie Scott, PhD
Professor Sophie Scott is a British neuroscientist, Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow at University College London, and a pioneering researcher in the science of laughter. She was the recipient of a Provost’s Award for Public Engagement in 2012, and her 2015 TED talk: ‘Why we Laugh’ has been viewed more than 3 million times.
Professor Scott’s research investigates the cognitive neuroscience of voices, speech and laughter – particularly speech perception, speech production, vocal emotions and human communication. As deputy director of the University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Sophie seeks out the neurological basis of communication, whether it’s speech or vocalized emotion. In her spare time, she is a stand up comedian with UCL’s bright club.
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Upcoming at TWU
This episode is sponsored by our upcoming Day on Changing Consciousness, taking place at the University of Greenwich on 26th June, 2022.
This will be The Weekend University’s first ‘in person’ event in over two years, and it’s shaping up to be a special occasion. The lectures will focus on consciousness paradigms that go beyond the brain, how they work, why they matter, and how understanding them can enhance your everyday experience of reality, with talks on:
–> Panpsychism: Is Everything Conscious? – Dr Philip Goff, PhD
–> From Ego-Centric to Eco-Centric: Changing Consciousness through Psychedelics – Dr Sam Gandy, PhD
–> Is Reality an Illusion? – Professor Donald Hoffman, PhD (via live video link)
By attending live, you can interact with the speakers in the Q&A sessions, connect with like-minded participants during the conference, and get CPD certification.
Should you be unable to attend in person, you’ll also be able to tune in from the comfort of home with a “Livestream Pass”.
As a listener of this podcast, you can get a discount on your ticket, if you go to https://bit.ly/ccj-twu, and use the discount code: POD when registering.