waves similar to those associated with meditation, according to a small new
It also found that other forms of stimulation produce
different types of brain waves.
The study included 31 people whose brain waves were
monitored while they watched humorous, spiritual or distressing video clips.
While watching the humorous videos, the volunteers' brains had high levels of
gamma waves, which are the same ones produced during meditation, researchers
use brainwaves to guide, improve meditation
During the spiritual videos, the participants' brains showed
higher levels of alpha brain waves, similar to when a person is at rest. The
distressing videos caused flat brain wave bands, similar to when a person feels
detached, nonresponsive or doesn't want to be in a certain situation.
Whole brain experience
Researchers were led by Lee Berk, an associate professor in
the School of Allied Health Professions, and an associate research professor of
pathology and human anatomy in the School of Medicine, at Loma Linda
University, in California.
The study was scheduled to be presented Sunday at the
Experimental Biology meeting held in San Diego. The data and conclusions should
be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
"What we have found in our study is that humour
associated with mirthful laughter sustains high-amplitude gamma-band
oscillations. Gamma is the only frequency found in every part of the
brain," Berk said in a university news release.
"What this means is that humour actually engages the
entire brain -- it is a whole brain experience with the gamma wave band
frequency and humour, similar to meditation,
holds it there; we call this being 'in the zone,'" Berk explained.
might keep the doc away
He said that with laughter, "it's as if the brain gets
a workout." This effect is important because it "allows for the
subjective feeling states of being able to think more clearly and have more
integrative thoughts," Berk said. "This is of great value to individuals
who need or want to revisit, reorganize or rearrange various aspects of their
lives or experiences, to make them feel whole or more focused."
the brain to process laughter
healing power of laughter
can be dangerous to some people