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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


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 ?
Its made for peanuts, dog-eared feel turns out to be quite charming with former Grange Hill star Maguire making for a convincing lead, and no end of chortles springing from the snappy dialogue.
IF you need a laugh in 2015 then at the moment chortles may be in short supply.
After awhile, Cahill's drolleries evoke few chortles, and his preoccupation with biblical sexcapades arouses suspicion.
Torchwood is actually set in Cardiff, which met with some derisive chortles along the way.
Philip Schofield titters like a schoolboy as producers revisit a tired format to trawl through the out-takes in a desperate bid to raise some chortles.
Well prepare for a shock as the veteran news anchor hosts a satirical comedy series that laughs in the face of the news headlines and chortles at the week's top talking points - as well as quirky stories we may have missed.
I ask him why he is called by his middle name Marcus instead of William or Bill and he chortles.
It all starts to fall apart when Mr Chortles is hired to entertain the kids at his son's sixth birthday party on the very day a journalist comes to interview Charlie about his charmed life.
Michael Parkinson chortles at another Peter Kay joke .
IT'S CHORTLES all round in this timeless classic by Oscar Wilde.
LOVING the understated chortles of Man Stroke Woman (BBC2, Monday).
Shaadi Se Pehle: An uncomplicated love story, big on hearty chortles and laughs but low on a strong clever script.