A laugh is contagious, and if boys/girls don’t join in then there could be something alarming.

Laughter is a quality that can easily be spread among people. It indeed has the most impact on people and it can improve your mental as well as physical health. But there are people with traits like sadism, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy who are unresponsive to laughter.

These kinds of people often talk or mingle with others for their own benefit and cut them off as soon as they fulfill their requirements.

A research says that boys could be at higher risks of becoming psychopaths in adulthood.

The scientist from University College of London conducted this research and took a group of 30 normal boys and  62 distracted boys (adults) and scanned each boy’s brain using MRI.

The researchers then measured the children’s brain activity when they listened to genuine laughter, posed laughter, and crying sounds, and asked the boys to rate on a scale of one to seven their answers to questions such as: “How much does hearing the sound make you feel like joining in and/or feeling the emotion?” and “How much does the sound reflect a genuinely felt emotion?”, reported by Business Insider.

The boys who showed disruptive behavior and who had high levels of callous-unemotional traits — who were thus at higher risk of becoming psychopathic — were less interested in joining in with laughter than those who didn’t show the traits or were normally behaved.

All the subjects’ brains reacted to genuine laughter, including in the audiroy cortex, which is where sounds are processed. However, there were also differences between the groups. The callous, disruptive boys had reduced brain activity in areas called the anterior insula and supplementary motor area, which is thought to be involved in being in tune with other people’s emotions, wrote Business Insider.

The researchers are now wanna how these kids respond to words of encouragement, smiling faces or display of affection.

“Those social cues that automatically give us pleasure or alert us to someone’s distress do not register in the same way for these children,” Viding said, senior author of the study and Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at UCL

“That does not mean that these children are destined to become antisocial or dangerous; rather, these findings shed new light on why they often make different choices from their peers. We are only now beginning to develop an understanding of how the processes underlying prosocial behavior might differ in these children. Such understanding is essential if we are to improve current approaches to treatment for affected children and their families who need our help and support.”

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