“Laughing” rats and the evolutionary antecedents of human joy?

Paul MacLean’s concept of epistemics—the neuroscientific study of subjective experience—requires animal brain research that can be related to predictions concerning the internal experiences of humans. Especially robust relationships come from studies of the emotional/affective processes that arise from subcortical brain systems shared by all mammals. Recent affective neuroscience research has yielded the discovery of play- […]

Human laughter, social play, and play vocalizations of non-human primates: an evolutionary approach

It has been hypothesized that the evolutionary origin of human laughter lies in the facial play signals of non-human primates. Recent studies dealing with human laughter have stressed the importance of the acoustic component of this nonverbal behaviour. In this study, we analysed the occurrence and some acoustic parameters, such as interval durations and fundamental […]