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Home > Screenings > > Laughing and Crying


Director: Mike Downey
Producer: Mike Downey, David Wells
Executive Producer: Mike Downey, David Wells
Writer: Mike Downey, David Wells
Genres: Documentary
People: David Wells, Mike Downey
Laughing and Crying

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The unmistakable sounds of laughing and crying are recognizable the world over. They are pillars of human communication and social interaction. And both are the soundtrack to our lives’ most memorable moments - births, first words, first loves and final losses.

And yet, researchers will tell you when it comes to studying human behaviour there is nothing as poorly understood as laughs and tears.

Why did we develop these unusual vocal communication techniques? How uniquely human are these emotional sounds? What can we learn by studying creatures who can only cry or laugh, you know, babies?

Thankfully, cognitive neuroscientists, psychologists and evolutionary biologists are exploring the worlds of laughing and crying. Surprisingly, they’re learning that these behaviours have a lot in common.

Perhaps it really is like Joni Mitchell sang, “...laughing and crying. You know it’s the same release.”

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