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Science

Ten Things We Still Don't Understand About Humans 397

ParticleGirl writes "New Scientist has an article examining 10 human features (bugs?) that we still don't understand, like blushing, laughing, and nose-picking. There are some interesting, speculative evolutionary explanations listed for each. '[Psychologist Robert R. Provine] thinks laughing began in our pre-human ancestors as a physiological response to tickling. Modern apes maintain the ancestral 'pant-pant' laugh when they are tickled during play, and this evolved into the human 'ha-ha.' Then, he argues, as our brains got bigger, laughter acquired a powerful social function — to bond people. Indeed, Robin Dunbar at the University of Oxford has found that laughing increases levels of endorphins, our body's natural opiates, which he believes helps to strengthen social relationships.'"

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