Do You Giggle & Laugh A Lot? It's All In The Genes Apparently

According to researchers, if you are one of those happy people who giggle and laugh at the drop of a hat, this is most probably caused something in the genes.

Whether we can call them happy genes or not is debatable but apparently, according to the study, people with a variant of the gene 5-HTTLPR smile and laugh a lot more when watching funny film clips and cartoons. Apparently the gene affects the way serotonin works in the brain.

According to the Daily Mail, if you have a short allele (or variant) of the gene you tend to laugh more and longer than those fated with the long allele in the genes.

This is not always the best thing however, as previous studies showed that people with the short allele are also more sensitive to the more negative emotions than those with the long, so it's pretty much a high or low situation.

Apparently while doing the study, researchers had to focus on the more subtle signals. People in general do tend to smile or laugh as a polite reaction to things they might not even find funny, or to hide negative feelings, so care was taken to only concentrate on the more genuine good humor.

According to one of the co-author's in the study, Ursula Beermann of the University of Geneva, those genuine signals which are in the genes "can only be seen in real smiles and laughs."

Speaking of the highs and lows of the emotions of people with a short allele, the Mirror Online quotes one of the other researchers, Claudia Haase from Northwestern University in Illinois, as saying that having the short allele is "not bad or risky." You probably just feel things a lot more.

"Instead, the short allele amplifies emotional reactions to both good and bad environments."

"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."

Yet another member of the team, Robert Levenson of the University of California-Berkeley, said that the studies shed new light on an "important piece of the genetic puzzle."

The Inquisitr recently reported on a story about a child who apparently has the short allele version of the gene. However the neighbor had no sense of humor at all and threatened to phone the police if the child continued to laugh so much.

Do you tend to giggle or laugh a lot or do you tend to be less sensitive? Do you believe it's in your genes? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image: CC BY 2.0 Brian Tomlinson]