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Learning is a laughing matter

January 22, 2016


Laughing has been added to the list of tools that help us learn new things. The scientists have come to this conclusion after observing how babies grasp new skills.

French researchers attempted to teach dozens of 18 month olds to retrieve a toy duck with a cardboard rake. They were showing one group what to do with a straight face and another one while laughing and having fun. The toddlers learning in somber mode proved to be less successful at completing the task, while the laughing lot excelled with whopping 94 percent success rate.

Scientists concluded laughter helped babies to collect and memorize information. Therefore being in a playful environment is not only fun, but also crucial for successful learning.  But how exactly laughing to unexpected, odd or absurd situations help us learn, remains unclear. Some believe it is because laughter increases the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain, providing a sense of pleasure and reward, while the others point out humor reduces stress hormones like cortisol thus contributes to easier memory formation.

Whether the high levels of good hormones or the low level of bad ones are to blame is not that important, the most crucial is the notion that exploring the world should be fun and that learning is a laughing matter.

From → Hic Salta

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