Social Neuroscience

1 February 2006 at 9:38 pm 1 comment

I picked up Laughter:  A Scientific Investigation by Robert R. Provine this evening and read through the intro and the chapter on “Contagious Laughter and the Brain.”  I am interested in why laughter improves health as well as the neurological mechanism for contagion.  My investigation into “energonomics” suggests that contagious behavior is a form of energy flow from one human to another and is therefore appropriate to  the “management of energy.”  In fact, given the discussion of “holy laughter” and the phenomenon of “laughing revivals” among charismatic churches which work to overcome their participants with laughter.

The intro of this book mentions “social neuroscience,” which sounded like an emerging field that might address the energonomic possibilities of particular behaviors studied as evolutionary adaptation.  A quick google-search yielded an article by Beth Azar titled “At the Frontier of Science” [published in the APA’s Monitor on Psychology 33.1 (January 2002)], which features “one of the fastest growing research areas in psychology” and which includes work by “social psychologists, neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, anthropologists, neurologists and sociologists who are collaborating in the hopes of understanding social behavior from the perspective of the brain.”  I’m off to read!


Entry filed under: books, energonomics, science.

Neurotheology Half Full or Half Empty?

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