Professor Sophie Scott
is the deputy director for the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in UCL (University College London).
While the main focus of her research is the neurobiology of speech perception, her work also includes the study of the neuroscience of laughter. She also dabbles in stand-up comedy.
Sophie believes that laughter is one of the most complex and nuanced things that we do. She feels that we should take laughter more seriously, both in terms of science, but also in terms of our experience, because very often, our laughter is telling us a lot more about how we feel about people we are laughing with than we might typically acknowledge to ourselves.
In this episode we discuss the evolutionary basis for laughter, social differences in comedy appreciation, the neurology & physiology of laughter, how science is beginning to take laughter more seriously and a host of other topics in between.