“Teenage boys at risk of psychopathy find laughter less contagious than neuro-typical boys.”

Professor Sophie Scott – TEDx Exeter 2018

Professor Sophie Scott

Why we should take laughter more seriously

From children to world leaders, laughter plays an important role in social interaction. But why do we laugh, what effect can it have, and what are the risks when it goes wrong? Professor Sophie Scott draws on her research in neuroscience to explain why laughter is an important social skill that deserves to be taken seriously.

Sophie Scott is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, where she is Deputy Director of the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience and group leader for the Speech Communication Lab. She had a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship from 2001 to 2004, and a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship from 2005 to 2016.

Her research addresses the neurobiological basis of verbal and non-verbal aspects of vocal communication. She pioneered the study of the human voice as a social signal, and has recently started to address the ways that non-verbal emotional expressions like laughter are used socially. She was the 2017 Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer.

Biography published 2018

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