Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

Social Experiment And Other Laughing Matters


One Monday morning at a tram stop…


Btw, did you know that in 1962, there was an outbreak of mass hysteria — a laughter epidemic in a village on the western coast of Lake Victoria in Tanzania? It is reported that it may have started by someone in a boarding school telling a joke, triggering a small group of students to start laughing.

“The laughter perpetuated itself, far transcending its original cause. The school from which the epidemic sprang was shut down; the children and parents transmitted it to the surrounding area. Other schools, Kashasha itself, and another village, comprising thousands of people, were all affected to some degree. Six to eighteen months after it started, the phenomenon died off”

Source:  10 Bizarre Cases of Mass Hysteria


The guy filming this video below was probably high as a kite from endorphins, afterwards.





There is an area of neuroscience called Psychoneuroimmunology.  The field studies the interaction between the brain and the immune system by combining the methods and techniques of psychology, neuroscience and immunology.  Laughter has been shown to cause changes in the autonomic nervous system and as noted below, alters stress hormones and neurotransmitter levels.


7 Health Benefits of Laughter

1. Laughing lowers blood pressure

2. Reduces stress hormone levels

3. Fun ab workout

4. Improves cardiac health

5. Boosts T cells

6. Triggers the release of endorphins

7. Produces a general sense of well-being

Read the details here.  Read more about how laughter works:  Laughter On the Brain


Laughter is an instant vacation.  ~Milton Berle


Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

67 thoughts on “Social Experiment And Other Laughing Matters

  1. I did know about the Tanzanian laughter. But most likely because you told me about it a while back ;D


  2. I’ve experienced similar contagious outbursts before. An interesting human behavior. Small children will respond reciprocally to adult facial expressions (smiles, frowns, etc.). But, what I found more noteworthy in the video was the near total lack of interaction before the laughter started. Even when we are very close, there often remains great distance between us.


  3. Oh Victoria! I could hardly wait to get through to the videos to comment. LOVED THIS!! LOVED THIS! LOVED THIS! I’ve always been intrigued by the science behind laughter and it makes perfect sense. I love being in airports and eavesdropping on what makes people laugh. I love seeing babies laugh and I swear that my pooches can even belt out a few. You are a joy and a blessing to me, dear Victoria. Let me leave you with a little gift of my own (hopefully, it won’t spam). I imagine you and I often–hanging out by my garden shed, sipping nectar and laughing like this young bride. Priceless post, my dear

    (Did I mention how much I loved your post??)


    • LMAO — Michelle, that video was awesome. I could have sworn the preacher said waffle. Is that what you heard, too?

      As an advocate for human rights, I know my posts tend to be more on the “dark” side. However, I love laughing, and do it often. I’m so glad you liked loved the post, 😀 oh — and the feeling is mutual. xox


  4. It happens an awful lot. My problem is, when i get going i snort, and that triggers a tsunami.


  5. Haha, “fun ab workout!” Also, maybe I’m especially emotional today, but that first video touched me to the point that I teared up. Wonderful post.




  7. No wonder I’m always in a good mood – sometimes I even crack myself up! Now what did I do with my rubber chicken? Oh, that’s right – Wendy’s bought it for their chicken sandwiches —


  8. Beautiful post. Watched all the videos in the posts and comments and I’m in tears from the laughter – thanks Victoria!

    This reminded me of laughter yoga which I had heard about years ago. Apparently started in India by Dr. Madan Kataria and then spread over the world.


  9. Yay – and the best thing about unstoppable laughter is that you’re too helpless to do anything but laugh…


  10. Hmmm….when I laugh like that all I get are the crazy looks. o_O


  11. You may make my neighbours think I have gone bananas.
    I love this post!


  12. Apparently I’m way healthier than I thought… :0)


  13. You see what I did there? Had I said, “every minute of it,” your retort would likely have been, “BOTH of them?” Ya gotta stay at least a move ahead —


  14. Why are your italics so tiny? And while I’m asking OT questions, on Ark’s site today, was his avatar not showing up? Replaced by a question mark? Or is it only my browser?

    Yeah, I know I could email that, but I’m lazy.


  15. Well, the clip of the dog had me in fits!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Super interesting videos!


  17. I can’t for the life of me remember what album it was, but when I was in school one of my friends put his headphones on me and just watched. The last track of the rock album the lead singer was laughing over and over again. It had a really odd effect to listen to that. You couldn’t help but laugh after a while. I think the laugh yoga stuff is really interesting too.


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