The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Laughter really is contagious - and that's good

By Daryl Austin

15 Jan 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Scientists have yet to define a funny bone, but laughter can have a positive impact on mental and cardiovascular health, mood and pain tolerance. The Washington Post explains why it is so contagious.

My three young daughters like to watch pets doing silly things. Almost daily, they ask to see animal video clips on my phone and are quickly entertained. But once my 7-year-old lets out a belly laugh, the laughter floodgates are opened and her two sisters double over as well.

This is just what science would predict.

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