Dr. Marina Davila-Ross, Reader in Comparative Psychology, University of Portsmouth
This talk will be presented via Zoom.
Laughter and Smiles: Towards understanding the Complexity and Phylogenetic Continuity of Positive Communication in Hominids
Abstract: Laughter and smiles are arguably the strongest behavioural indicators of positive emotional states in humans and they also represent pervasive tools of social communication, help to develop and maintain social relationships, and affect individuals‘ health and wellbeing. It, thus, may not come to a surprise that these important behaviours are deeply rooted in human biology. More specifically, empirical research on hominids suggests that laughter and smiles are evolutionarily continuous, going back to at least the past 13 million years. As a result, an in-depth evaluation of laughter and smiles in great apes may provide a better understanding of why humans, a highly social-cognitive species, behave the way they do. This talk attempts to reconstruct the evolution of laughter and smiles in great apes and humans by assessing form and function of these expressions in their natural social interactions. Comparative and phylogenetic approaches are applied that include acoustic analyses, FACS (Facial Action Coding System) specifically designed to study great apes, and the coding of bodily actions.
Zoom link: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/94813693836?pwd=ZWx5Tnl5UStac0RSZUZCSlFyMTl2UT09
Zoom Meeting ID: 928 2643 6236