From Psych Central

Humor, Neuroplasticity, and the Power To Change Your Mind
by Nichole Force, M.A.

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that we have much more control over our minds, personalities and personal illnesses than was ever believed to exist before, and it is all occurring at the same time that a flood of other research is exposing the benefits of humor on brain functioning.  The ability to change the structure and functioning of the brain through experiences and the conscious use of directed thoughts is referred to as neuroplasticity.


Huffington Post

From Huffington Post Healthy Living

Face It: A Good Laugh Can Go a Long Way
by Michelle Willens

I ran into two old friends recently, one in Los Angeles and one in New York. The cities may have been far apart but the circumstances were not. I met both while waiting for medications at the pharmacy. No, this is not a piece about the prescription line being the new social networking site. It is more about being able to laugh amid the new realities of midlife and beyond.


Scientific American

From Scientific American Mind
Laughter Leads to Insight
by Elizabeth King Humphrey

Stumped by a crossword puzzle? Try taking a break to watch a funny TV show. Recent research shows that people in a lighthearted mood more often have eureka moments of sudden inspiration.

Karuna Subramaniam, then at Northwestern University, and her colleagues found that boosting the mood of volunteers increased their likelihood of having an aha! moment that helped solve a word associa­­tion puzzle. Those who watched a Robin Williams comedy special did measurably better at the task using insight than those who watched a quantum electronics talk or a scary movie. The games, in which players must find a word that connects three seemingly unrelated words, have been used for decades to demonstrate creative problem solving.