There are so many cute videos on Facebook, of kittens, and puppies and babies, and kittens with babies, and babies with puppies, and kittens with puppies. That must be an absurd waste of time watching those, isn’t it?
Maybe no. At this year’s Experimental Biology Conference researchers looked at the mind, what was happening with neurotransmitters and which areas of the brain were activated? Using EEG sensors, what they found was that a brain reacting to a humorous video and a mind engaged in meaningful meditation look the same.
UTHealth medical ethicist Eugene Boisaubin, M.D , a professor at the UTHealth McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, says the study at Loma Linda University Medical Center provides tangible proof for something those in the medical profession have known all along: laughter is good for you.
“Humor has really been looked at for a long, long time, but it’s a complex issue. It probably can be developed in some, but there’s an old joke that if you don’t have a sense of humor it’s not clear how you’re supposed to get one. Some people seem to have a more innate sense of this than others do, but that probably is learned also. People who grew up in bad experiences probably grew up more negative; those with a more positive reinforcement probably realize that humor can also be part of expressing how they feel in a positive way,” says Dr. Boisaubin.
The experiment at Loma Linda measured the brain activity of 31 people when they watched a funny video and when they watched a stressful video. What they found was that with positive, funny videos the entire brain was engaged. Just as it is with deep meditation.