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Seminar: Professor Sophie Scott
January 9 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
The science of laughter
Monday 9 January @ 4 pm – 5:30 pm (Sherrington Library)
Sophie Scott from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London will discuss her research on the neural basis and functions of laughter at the Cortex Club on Monday, 9 January. She is particularly interested in the neural basis of vocal communication, the expression of emotion in the voice, and individual differences in speech perception.
Sophie Scott is a British neuroscientist and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow at University College London, researching the neuroscience of voices, speech, and laughter. She is also Deputy Director of UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Prof Scott investigates the neurological basis of vocal communication, whether it is speech or vocalized emotion, laughter. In particular she is interested in teasing apart different processing streams in auditory cortex, inter-hemispheric asymmetries, the interaction of speech processing with attentional and working memory factors, individual differences in speech perception, and plasticity in speech perception.
Commonly linked to humour, laughter is predominantly a social expression of emotion, associated with affiliation and affection. In my talk I will address the evolution, functions and neural bases of laughter, and will make some empirical observations about situations and conditions in which laughter processing can go awry.
McGettigan et al. (2015). Individual differences in laughter perception reveal roles for mentalizing and sensorimotor systems in the evaluation of emotional authenticity. Cereb. Cortex 25(1): 246–257.