Laughter May Work Like Meditation in the Brain

Everyone loves a good laugh, it’s the single reason we all tune-in to things like The Shade Room, the latest in Reality TV, and attend comedy shows. Laughing comes easily to us and researchers have proven that it may even be mentally healthy for us too. Laughter triggers brain waves similar to those associated with meditation, according to a small new study. It also found that other forms of stimulation produce different types of brain waves.

The study included 31 people whose brain waves were monitored while they watched humorous, spiritual or distressing video clips. While watching the humorous videos, the volunteers’ brains had high levels of gamma waves, which are the same ones produced during meditation, researchers found.

During the spiritual videos, the participants’ brains showed higher levels of alpha brain waves, similar to when a person is at rest. The distressing videos caused flat brain wave bands, similar to when a person feels detached, nonresponsive or doesn’t want to be in a certain situation.

Researchers were led by Lee Berk, an associate professor in the School of Allied Health Professions, and an associate research professor of pathology and human anatomy in the School of Medicine, at Loma Linda University, in California.