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Evolution of Emotional CommunicationFrom Sounds in Nonhuman Mammals to Speech and Music in Man$
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Eckart Altenmüller, Sabine Schmidt, and Elke Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583560.001.0001

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Vocal expression of emotions in laughter

Vocal expression of emotions in laughter

Chapter:
(p.191) Chapter 12 Vocal expression of emotions in laughter
Source:
Evolution of Emotional Communication
Author(s):

Diana P. Szameitat

Dirk Wildgruber

Kai Alter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583560.003.0012

Human laughter is a complex behavior expressed not only in the context of play as it is in animals, but also in various emotional states. This suggests that throughout evolution human laughter has adopted more complex communicative functions to reflect the increased complexity of human social interaction. This chapter outlines recent findings on perception, acoustic cues, and neural correlates of laughter sounds. Laughter sounds can be classified according to the emotional categories and according to different emotional dimensions, such as arousal, valence and dominance. Moreover, the acoustical correlates of laughter expressing different emotions can be discriminated on the basis of a small parameter set. Finally, the evolutionary diversification of ecological functions of laughter is associated with distinct cerebral responses underlying laughter perception. These findings indicate that human laughter is a multifaceted behavior serving distinct social functions.

Keywords:   laughter, nonverbal, emotion, tickling, joy, taunt, schadenfreude, fmri

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