41 – Laughing Rats Teach Us More About Human Joy

Jaak Panksepp and Jeffrey Burgdorf have done ground-breaking research on rats and discovering their version of “laughter.” Their research has given us insight on how laughter relates inversely to fear being present, and the joy and play that appears to accompany it.

Panksepp and Burgdorf’s research has been written about in several publications, and is a fascinating look at how humans and other animals neurochemistry relates to one another. By understanding more about where and how laughter, joy, and play “live” in our brains, we can all endeavor to have more of it in our lives.

The American Journal of Play, one of Playful Trekker’s favorite publications, shares a re-print of one of these fascinating articles, complete with graphs and insightful ideas, and the Journal of Psychology and Human Behavior shares more on the neurobiological nature of human laughter, through the lens of Panksepp’s and Burgdorf’s research.

Read both of these fascinating articles here and here.