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So a scientist walks into a shopping mall to watch people laugh.There’s no punchline. Laughter is a serious scientific subject, one that researchers are still trying to figure out.
Robert Provine, Ph.D., says that homegrown laughter may be what ailing couples need most. Uniquely human, laughter is, first and foremost, a social signal–it disappears when there is no audience, which may be as small as one other person–and it binds people together. It synchronizes the brains of speaker and listener so that they are emotionally attuned.