Laughter Has Great Impact If Vocalized From The Left Ear, Study Shows

In Education

Our perception of sounds extends beyond their physical attributes as they can elicit emotions and meaning. Research indicates that the ear through which we hear sounds can notably affect our emotional well-being. Studies reveal that sounds coming from the left side tend to evoke more intense emotions.

Sounds from behind evoke adverse sentiments

Distant sounds from behind could evoke adverse sentiments, potentially attributed to human being’s inherent evolutionary impulses to construe them as conceivable hazards. Nevertheless, as per recent research by Swiss neuroscientists, it has come to light that favorable auditory human expressions, such as laughter, wield a more potent influence when originating from the leftward direction.

According to Dr. Sandra da Costa, a research staff scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, instances of human vocalizations that evoke positive emotional responses exhibit significant neural activity within the auditory cortex of the brain when originating from the left side of the listener. Interestingly, this particular neural response is not observed when such positive vocalizations emanate from either the frontal or right sides. Conversely, auditory stimuli characterized by neutral or negative emotional connotations, including instances like meaningless vowel sounds or expressions of fear through screams, lack a similar correlation with neural activity on the left side.

Positive vocalizations originates from the right

In the study, researchers used brain imaging scans on 13 participants listening to sounds from various directions. They found that brain regions responsible for initial sound processing, like A1 and R, were most active when positive vocalizations originated from the left. Responses were weaker for sounds from the front or right.

Co-study author Dr. Tiffany Grisendi said the primary auditory cortex in both brain hemispheres exhibits significant activation when processing positive emotional vocalizations originating from the left side. This indicates that the initial processing of sound’s emotional tone and spatial source takes place in these regions.

Researchers are exploring the evolutionary importance of the brain’s left-side bias for positive vocalizations. Professor Stephanie Clarke, a study author, believes more research is needed to understand when this preference develops in humans and its potential connections to hand preference.

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