Universiteit Leiden

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LIBC Colloquium

woensdag 13 oktober 2021
via Zoom

Function, form, and flexibility of laughter

Nonverbal signals, such as laughter, help us connect with the social world. I take a social functional approach to the study of nonverbal signals, examining how the physical forms of signals are flexible and can be adapted to meet the demands of different social contexts. In this talk, I will use laughter as a model for understanding how the physical form of a signal reflects its underlying function. I will then discuss how populations adapt their use of nonverbal signals, such as laughter, to meet the unique challenges of their socioecological niches. I suggest that a social functional approach can help us reconcile evidence for consistency and variability in nonverbal signals across contexts and cultures.

If you would like to attend this lecture via zoom please register via e-mail to

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