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New-born babies laugh just like chimpanzees!

New-born babies laugh just like chuckling chimpanzees. They both inhale and exhale during a couple, while adults and older children tend to breath outward (stock image)
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New-born babies laugh just like chimpanzees! Infants breath in AND out when giggling while adults only exhale during a chuckle

  • Research found that new-born babies exhale and inhale as they gurgle happily
  • Adults and older children generally only laugh with an outward breath 
  • Researchers studied videos of 44 children aged between three months and 18 months at play

New-born babies laugh just like chuckling chimpanzees.

That’s according to a new study, which found that – like their non-human primate cousins – babies exhale and inhale as they gurgle happily.

In contrast, adults and older children generally only laugh with an outward breath.

Psychologists made the discovery after studying videos of 44 children aged between three months and 18 months at play.  

New-born babies laugh just like chuckling chimpanzees. They both inhale and exhale during a couple, while adults and older children tend to breath outward (stock image)

Lead researcher Dr Disa Sauter, from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, said: ‘Adult humans sometimes laugh on the inhale, but the proportion is markedly different from that of infants’ and chimps’ laughs.

‘Our results so far suggest that this is a gradual, rather than a sudden, shift.’

The recordings were analysed by 102 psychology students who assessed the extent to which the babies were laughing on the exhale and on the inhale.

The findings showed that the youngest babies often laughed both while breathing out and in.

But laughter from older babies was mainly produced on the exhale.

The researchers are looking to see if there is a link with what triggers laughter, which also changes with age.

Like non-human primates, infants and younger babies laugh when they are tickled or engaged in other forms of physical play.

A study found that - like their non-human primate cousins - babies exhale and inhale as they gurgle happily (stock image)

A study found that – like their non-human primate cousins – babies exhale and inhale as they gurgle happily (stock image)

As humans get older, laughter also begins to arise from social interactions.

Dr Sauter added: ‘I’d be interested in seeing whether our findings apply to other vocalisations than laughter.

‘Ultimately, the research could offer insight into vocal production of children with developmental disorders.

‘If we know what normally developing babies sound like, it could be interesting to study infants at risk to see whether there are very early signs of atypical development in their non-verbal vocalisations of emotion.’

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Victoria, Canada.

WHO IS SMARTER: CHIMPS OR CHILDREN?

Most children surpass the intelligence levels of chimpanzees before they reach four years old.

A study conducted by Australian researchers in June 2017 tested children for foresight, which is said to distinguish humans from animals.

The experiment saw researchers drop a grape through the top of a vertical plastic Y-tube.

They then monitored the reactions of a child and chimpanzee in their efforts to grab the grape at the other end, before it hit the floor.

Because there were two possible ways the grape could exit the pipe, researchers looked at the strategies the children and chimpanzees used to predict where the grape would go.

The apes and the two-year-olds only covered a single hole with their hands when tested.

But by four years of age, the children had developed to a level where they knew how to forecast the outcome.

They covered the holes with both hands, catching whatever was dropped through every time.

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