Why are we laughing at idiotic jokes: the search for scientists

Catholic priest, rabbi and Protestant priest go to the bar. The bartender asks: “Have you decided to joke?” We are not joking, this is serious science. The answer to the question “What makes people laugh?” Is incredibly important for neurologists.

They understand the human auditory system so much that they can already restore hearing. Biomedics successfully implant chips that partially restore vision. Neurosurgeons know that if you poke in one place of your brain, the image of your teacher from the third class will appear in another, and if you poke in another place, you will smell her perfume. Neuropsychologists have come to the point of isolating a portion of the brain whose cells are activated when a person prays. Nevertheless, the nature of idiotic jokes remains as mysterious as the Sphinx.

The complexity of understanding the nature of humor reflects the complexity of the task. This topic is so interesting for scientists because if they understood how humor works, it would immediately become clear how the brain works, and this would provide a key to healing after paralysis and illnesses. Recently, neurologists who are serious about jokes have unveiled some interesting findings from their research. With the help of the Internet and volunteers around the world, scientists were able to rank jokes and select the funniest. Then, using a brain scanner, they isolated the part of the brain that becomes active when we laugh. Independently, Canadian and English experts came to the same conclusion: different types of jokes activate different brain cells.

Best joke

“Previous studies of humor have revealed important features of the functioning of the brain, ” says Richard Weisman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire (near London). Around this time of the year, he launched a project called The Laughter Laboratory. The goal of the project is to find the funniest joke in the world.

Weissman's research began with collecting jokes on the Internet. After his employees threw out all indecent and racist, he dictated the most popular jokes and posted audio files on the Internet. Site visitors were invited to rate them. At the end of last year, the computer chose a joke that appealed to visitors of both sexes, all age groups and all countries more than others. Gurpal Gosal filed it, a 31-year-old psychiatrist from the city of Manchester (England). You probably already heard her. Here she is. "A group of New Jersey hunters wanders through the woods, and suddenly one of them falls to the ground. It seems he is not breathing, his eyes are rolling. His friend takes out his cell phone and calls the Rescue Service. He shouts to the operator:" My friend is dead! What should I do? ”The operator replies in a very calm voice:“ Don’t worry. I can help. First, let's make sure that he really died. ”There is a pause, a shot is heard. Then the hunter says:“ Done. What's next? ”


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