Laughing 20 minutes a day improves memory and has an effect against stress

Laughing more helps fight memory loss in seniors. The researchers demonstrated that a good mood activates an area of ​​the brain responsible for memory. The American researchers from Loma Linda University, in Southern California, published two studies presented at the Meeting of Experimental Biology, in San Diego, also in California. The statement was published on their website ( http://experimentalbiology.org ) on April 27, 2014 and broadcast by various media outlets around the world, including CNN and CBS.

Laughter against stress and in favor of memory

The first study was carried out in two groups of elderly people, around 70 years old, one healthy and the other with  diabetes . Some of the participants in both groups watched a funny video lasting 20 minutes, while the other part (control group) did not watch the video. The investigators measured the amount of cortisol in saliva at the beginning and end of the experiment. The scientists observed a significant drop in the cortisol level in the two groups that watched the funny video compared to the control group, however, the most significant reduction was seen in people with diabetes. Recent studies have shown that cortisol, the ”  stress hormone “, can destroy certain neurons.

Participants were also asked to perform a memory test. Healthy and diabetic people watched the funny video and scored better on this test than the control group, however, the group of healthy individuals did better than the diabetics.

As explained Gurinder Bains, the head of the study, “laughing with friends or watching 20 minutes a day of a comedy show could help reduce the level of stress, and is a useful alternative method to improve health. It is known that the higher the stress level, the greater the memory loss. Our study showed a correlation between a good mood and a drop in cortisol.”

Laughter increases the level of endorphins and thus promotes the action of dopamine in the brain, which directly contributes to a feeling of pleasure, in addition to activating the reward circuit.

Laughing acts as a real anti-stress, said Mr. Bains: “It’s simple, the less stress, the better the memory.”

Gamma waves and meditation

The second study showed that laughter stimulates the production of gamma waves in the brain, the only waves transmitted in all areas of the brain, the same that occurs during the practice of meditation. The waves help identify brain rhythm and provide information about an individual’s physiological state, taking into account neuronal activity. The study was performed on 31 people exposed to an electroencephalogram while watching a humorous or spiritual video.

The researchers found the highest concentration of gamma waves during the mood video, while high levels of alpha waves were found during the spiritual video, which are usually produced during rest. Finally, the anti-stress video stimulated the production of flat brain waves, typical of an absence state. The author of the study, Dr. Lee Berk, associate at the School of Health Professions and professor at Loma Linda University, told the press: “Humor works throughout the brain, like a kind of mental gymnastics that helps connection and increases concentration and organizational skills.” . Gamma waves also play a role in memorization.

The researchers believe these results could improve care for elderly people in nursing homes. According to Dr. Berk: “Humor has been proven to have a therapeutic effect.” After sports, doctors will prescribe about 20 minutes of laughter a day, which you can get by watching your favorite comedy show or funny videos on YouTube.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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