The volunteer's face muscles contract, and his body begins to convulse. His breathing becomes spasmodic, and he makes a series of involuntary, repeated vocalizations. For one informative moment, the EEG's mechanical scribblings flap rapidly from margin to margin, providing a nugget of neurological gold.

The affliction under study is surprisingly common among humans. Though the episodes are usually transitory, they will occasionally erupt as intense, prolonged outbursts where bodily fluid containment is placed in jeopardy as the hapless victim collapses into a moist, quivering, rhythmically-vocalizing mass. Alarmingly, the phenomenon is highly contagious, and in extreme cases, it can even lead to death.

What dreaded syndrome could this describe? It’s laughter! Damn Interesting takes a look at the scientific study of gelotology, the physiological response to humor, and the things that makes us laugh.
A: "Did you hear about that series of illogical events that occurred involving a duck? They turned out to be congruent in some unexpected way!"
B: "Har har! Please excuse me while I breathe spasmodically and become moist!"


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