Pathological Laughter: A Review of the Literature

  title={Pathological Laughter: A Review of the Literature},
  author={Donald W. Black},
  journal={The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease},
  • D. Black
  • Published 1 February 1982
  • Psychology, Biology
  • The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Normal laughter is a unique human behavior with characteristic facial and respiratory patterns elicited by a variety of stimulus conditions. The neuroanatomy remains poorly defined but three levels seem likely: a) a cortical level; b) a bulbar, or effector, level; and 3) a synkinetic, or integrative, level probably at or near the hypothalamus. Pathological laughter occurs when laughter is inappropriate, unrestrained (forced), uncontrollable, or dissociated from any stimulus. Pathological… 
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