Laugh Often to Live Well

Posted on May 12, 2014

You have heard it time and again - laughter is the best medicine. Humor and mirth offer a multitude of preventive and healing effects and a new study is offering more evidence that laughter has quantifiable benefits for the brain.

Researchers evaluated two groups of healthy, elderly adults. Half of the group watched a funny video for 20 minutes and the other half sat quietly and distraction-free for the same period. Both groups then completed the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test to evaluate short-term memory, learning ability, delayed recall, and visual recognition. The participants also provided saliva samples throughout the test period so that researchers could determine the levels of cortisol in their bodies.

The group who watched funny videos had better scores in learning ability and delayed recall; this group also had significantly lower levels of cortisol - a stress hormone that decreases memory - than the control group at all three time points tested.

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Source material from Brain Blogger

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