NYU team says babies differentiate friends’ laughter from strangers’

Researchers at New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles are suggesting that infants as young as five months old can differentiate laughter between strangers from laughter between friends. The results of this study suggest that the ability to understand the nature of social relationships develops early in a child’s life. Shared laughter, also known as co-laughter, can tell us important information about the relationship between two people: whether they’re friends, acquaintances, or complete strangers. The new study looked to determine if this ability to differentiate between types of co-laughter can be found in infants as well as adults. It found that the infants tested could not only differentiate between two types of laughter, but also preferred listening to laughter between friends.

New York University is a member of NYSERNet’s R&E network. Read more about the study here: https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2019/march/for-infants–distinguishing-between-friends-and-strangers-is-a-l.html