In an important new study from the forthcoming Quarterly Review of Biology, biologists from Binghamton University explore the evolution of two distinct types of laughter – laughter which is stimulus-driven and laughter which is self-generated and strategic.
"Laughter that occurs during everyday social interaction in response to banal comments and humorless conversation is now being studied," write Matthew Gervais and David Sloan Wilson. "The unstated issue is whether such laughter is similar in kind to laughter following from humor."
Using empirical evidence from across disciplines, including theory and data from work on mirror neurons, evolutionary psychology, and multilevel selection theory, the researchers detail the evolutionary trajectory of laughter over the last 7 million years. Evolutionarily elaborated from ape play-panting sometime between 4 million years ago and 2 million years ago, laughter arising from non-serious social incongruity promoted community play during fleeting periods of safety. Such non-serious social incongruity, it is argued, is the evolutionary precursor to humor as we know it.
Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
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An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
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19.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
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19.01.2017 | Studies and Analyses