laughter

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The activity of laughing; the manifestation of mirth or joy, or, less commonly, sarcasm or scorn
Alternative medicine See Laughter club, Laughter therapy, Laughter yoga
Neurology Spasmodic and largely involuntary expirations often accompanied by inarticulate vocalisations, generally evoked by mirth
Physiology Laughter increases blood flow to the brain and activates neural networks—e.g., nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and amygdala. Functional MRI data suggests that the increase in blood flow to NAcc evoked by extreme humour is similar to that triggered by monetary gain or use of some addictive drugs; a key symptom of depression is the lack of a sense of reward from previously rewarding activities—e.g., humour
Psychiatry Laughter is regarded as the most effective coping skill for anxiety-panic disorders and may temporarily alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression

laughter

(laf′tĕr)
A series of inarticulate sounds produced as an expression of emotion, usually happiness or mirth. The role of humor and laughter in promoting a positive attitude and health and in preventing the progress of some diseases has been documented esp. when it is combined with proven medical therapies.

compulsive laughter

Laughter without cause, occurring in certain psychoses, esp. schizophrenia.

pathological laughter

Uncontrolled laughter (occasionally accompanied by, or alternating with, uncontrolled crying), caused by pseudobulbar lesions of the brain. These lesions may result from lacunar strokes, multiple sclerosis, anoxic brain injury, and other forms of brain injury.
References in periodicals archive ?
* To vote for Jason Cook as Best Compere, and either Middlesbrough Town Hall or Stockton ARC as Best Venue in the Chortle Awards, visit www.chortle.co.uk Voting is free and ends at 5pm on Sunday.
Ray and Ed, who first met at a gig at Durham University, were Chortle Award nominees in 2011 and 2012 and are regular contributors to BBC Radio 4 Extra's The Comedy Club.
The winners will be announced at the Chortle Awards in London on March 22.
Peter Vincent, comedy booker with promoters Ten Feet Tall, said: "Chortle is the comedy industry's leading and most influential website, so it's fantastic for Catch 22 to be nominated for this award.
Somewhere up in the sky, I heard an angel chortle, or was it just a trick of the imagination?
And at www.safenow.org you can have a good old chortle at the witty captions accompanying genuine safety images used by the US government.
CHORTLE Like bromance, this word is union of two others.
Up and coming young comedian Joe Lycett was winner of both Chortle Student Comedian of the Year and Bath Comedy Festival New Act of the Year in 2009.
The club, which brings some of the best comics on the UK comedy circuit to Stockton on the last Friday of each month, has been nominated as Best Comedy Club in the North in the national Chortle Annual Comedy Awards.
Indeed, The Chimp didn't pick up his GameBoy once on our trip being content to chortle, read his Dareen Shan book, marvel at the off and on-board wildlife and occasionally, but only occasionally, help out in the galley as tea, butties and beer can gopher.
But he topped the poll compiled by comedy website Chortle.co.uk -even beating Jim Davidson into second place.
The talks are refreshingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny with Jenny Eclair's bawdy chortle regularly enlivening the proceedings.