Wednesday April 5th 2023
S2S Research team seminar
Presentation by Carolina Pletti
Laughing Together – the influence of laughter on interpersonal neural synchrony, bonding and prosociality
In this talk, I will present preliminary results on the effect of laughter on neural synchrony, bonding and prosocial intentions towards an interaction partner. Laughter is a rhythmic, audiovisual expression of emotion, often occurring during social interactions, and has been shown to increase bonding in a social group through endorphine release. Being a multimodal, rhythmic social stimulus, laughter could be hypothesized to facilitate interpersonal synchrony. This, in turn, could contribute to increased affiliation and prosociality between interaction partners. The present study aimed at testing these hypotheses using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning. Results from a pilot dataset show that laughter increases neural synchrony in the inferior frontal gyrus, but such effect is not long lasting. In this talk, I will discuss implications and challenges for future research on laughter and synchrony.
Carolina Pletti is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute for Developmental Psychology of the University of Vienna. Her research focusses on the development and neural mechanisms of social cognition, in particular moral cognition, prosociality, laughter, and interpersonal synchrony.