Longer life for which it is taken with humor

January 2011

People that counteract the stress with humor have a healthy immune system and can live 4 years longer.

People that counteract the stress with humor have healthy immune systems, suffer a 40 percent fewer heart attacks, suffer less pain in dental care and live four years longer. So scientists recommend laugh, at least 15 minutes a day. They have gathered a group of experts in the Spanish video informative 'Happy brain: laughter and sense of humor', developed by the University of Navarra and presented yesterday in Madrid. "Humor and happiness are associated with getting along with oneself and with the environment. For this matter, especially the meaning of life and relationships with others. If you can laugh at the obstacles to be happy, that means you can overcome them", says Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Natalia López Moratalla.

For the processing of language, humor is genuinely human and laughed at the jokes are often characterized by using word games to create absurd situations. In addition, the humor has different brain strategies for men and women. In general, women use more brain areas and, above all, make up more emotional than men in the various processes, including cognition. For men the illogical is sufficient for the sense of humor. Women, however absurd to require that be funny to bring the excitement of the fun.

"The increased brain activation in the prefrontal cortex in women suggests a greater use of short-term memory processing consistency, mental rotation, verbal abstraction, self-directed attention and analysis of what is relevant", says Moratalla. In this sense, Moratalla brain compares the process of humor between men and women with a map of Metro: "Although the points of departure and destination coincide, women spend more stations and involve more travel. Both of them as they grasp the absurdity rooted in the human brain capacity executive specifically to store, manipulate and compare interdependent "he says.

"First we use areas of the cerebral cortex to process words and realize that what they heard or read makes no sense. Then, use the area that processes emotions. There absurd or funny generates a pleasant emotion", explains Moratalla. "spoke for it, "continues the professor, dopamine, known as the hormone of happiness, which triggers the reward system by stimulating the central switch, called the nucleus accumbens. Once activated, this switch sends signals to the prefrontal cortex happiness. For Finally, the system of reward and pleasure is responsible for generating the euphoric reaction, the laughter, from the third layer of the brain".

The video includes researches of Professor Sir Richard Wiseman and his Laboratory of Laughter, and journal articles: 'Nature Neuroscience' and 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' (PNAS), among others. The summary shows schematically what happens in the brain since we have a joke until we laugh. Project is part of the University of Navarra 'The secrets of your brain' that in a dozen videos, to analyze, synthesize and communicate what they say cutting-edge neuroscience on the brain.

Source: The happy brain: informative project of the University of Navarra.