Laughter and Perception

  1. A new study suggests brains can tell the difference between genuine and fake laughter
  2. When people hear a fake laugh, they activate a part of their brain associated with trying to understand the emotional and mental state of others
  3. The people who are best able to tell the difference between a genuine and fake laugh also activate parts of their brain engaged in movement and sensation—suggesting that people “try out” how a laugh would feel to them to understand its meaning

Source: Individual Differences in Laughter Perception Reveal Roles for Mentalizing and Sensorimotor Systems in the Evaluation of Emotional Authenticity. Cerebral Cortex, 2013

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