(Telegraph) Heard the one about laughter? It’s all in your genes
The reason why some people laugh endlessly while others can barely smile at jokes may be down to DNA, research suggests
The reason why some people can’t stop laughing while others can barely smile at jokes may be down to DNA differences, research suggests.
In the study linking a gene to positive emotional expressions, researchers showed that people with a certain genetic variant smiled or laughed more.
Of the 336 participants, those with short alleles of the gene 5-HTTLPR smiled or laughed more while watching cartoons or subtly amusing film clips than people with long alleles.
Previous research has linked the gene to negative emotions, but the study, published the journal Emotion, provides the strongest evidence to date that the same gene is also linked to positive emotional expressions.
Study co-author Dr Claudia Haase, of Northwestern University in the US, said: “Having the short allele is not bad or risky.
“Instead, the short allele amplifies emotional reactions to both good and bad environments.
“Our study provides a more complete picture of the emotional life of people with the short allele.
“People with short alleles may flourish in a positive environment and suffer in a negative one, while people with long alleles are less sensitive to environmental conditions.”