It’s a remarkably wide-ranging article, covering everything from the effect on the immune system, to laughter’s pain killing properties to its beneficial effect on mental health.
There’s also an interesting aside on the role of humour in attraction:
In 2006 psychologists Eric R. Bressler of Westfield State College and Sigal Balshine of McMaster University in Ontario reported that women are more likely to consider a man in a photograph a desirable relationship partner if the picture is accompanied by a funny quote attributed to the man. In fact, the women preferred the funny men despite rating them, on average, less intelligent and less trustworthy.
Although the men in Bressler and Balshine‚Äôs study did not prefer witty women as partners, other research indicates that both men and women value a ‚Äúsense of humor‚Äù when choosing a partner. Either way, males do seem to like ladies who laugh at their jokes. A 1990 study suggests that when women and men chat, the amount of laughing by the woman indicates both her interest in dating the man and her sexual appeal to the man. (The man‚Äôs laughter did not relate to attraction in either direction.)
The issue also has freely available online articles on ‘brain training’, the psychological effect of architecture and personality disorder with many more in the print edition.
Link to April’s SciAmMind.