新闻听力 | 笑的科学

新闻听力 | 笑的科学

4.9分钟 849 141wpm

The science of laughter

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笑的科学

The Science of Laughter

语速:CET-6听力 / 词汇:七级(考研)易 / 篇幅:630 / 时长:455

刘立军供稿



Part I. QUESTIONS

Listen to the talk and choose the best answer to each question you hear.

Q1. What physical changes occur when a person laughs, as described in the text?

A. Teeth show involuntarily and eyes water.

B. Abdominal muscles contract and breathing patterns change.

C. Heart rate increases dramatically.

D. Reflexes are enhanced and muscle control improves.

Q2. According to the text, to what purpose do scientists believe laughter may have evolved?

A. To signal distress in dangerous situations.

B. As a way for humans to develop language.

C. To clearly indicate friendly, non-aggressive intent.

D. To aid digestion after meals.

Q3. How has the function of laughter changed after humans diverged from other great apes, according to the text?

A. It has remained unchanged throughout human evolution.

B. It became less frequent and quieter in humans than in apes.

C. The contagious nature of laughter was lost.

D. Laughter started to convey a broader range of contexts and subtle meanings.

Q4. How do observers distinguish between different kinds of laughter, as found in studies?

A. By the duration of the laughter.

B. By the volume of the laughter.

C. By identifying whether the laughter sounds real or fake.

D. By the facial expressions of the laughing person.

Q5. What might be the outcome of frequent laughter?

A. It could potentially improve cardiovascular health and stress management.

B. It may lead to increased levels of stress hormones.

C. Frequent laughter usually results in diminished social bonds.

D. Laughing often causes people to lose control over their speech.



Part II. TRANSCRIPT

The Science of Laughter

(1) Isn’t it odd that, when something’s funny, you might show your teeth, change your breathing, become weak and achy in some places, and maybe even cry? In other words, why do we do this bizarre thing that is laughter?

bizarre adj. 极其怪诞的;异乎寻常的

(2) (Q1) When you laugh, your abdominal muscles contract rapidly. This alters your breathing patterns, increasing the pressure in your chest cavity, and pushing air out, which might audibly emerge as a snort, wheeze, or vocalization. Because you’re exerting your abdominal muscles much more than you usually would while talking, they may start to hurt. Laughter also inhibits your reflexes and muscle control, causing sensations like leg weakness.

chest cavity 胸腔

snort n.(尤指表示气愤或被逗乐的)喷鼻息,哼

inhibit v. 阻止;阻碍;抑制

(3) So, where does this funny phenomenon come from? Because there’s no archaeological record of laughter, it’s impossible to say exactly how and why it evolved, but scientists have some theories. Importantly, humans are not the only animals today that do something like laughter. Using ultrasonic recorders, researchers in the late 90s realized that rats were basically giggling while being tickled. Scientists have since compiled evidence of at least 65 species - mostly mammals, but also some birds - that vocalize during social play. Some, unsurprisingly, are our closest relatives.

compile v. 编写(书、列表、报告等);编纂

(4) By recording and analyzing the sounds primates make while playing and being tickled, researchers grew more convinced that the ancient ancestor of all great apes did something like laughter. And, because other apes make laughter-like sounds during rough-and-tumble play, (Q2) they think laughter may have originally developed to clearly signal friendly, non-aggressive intent.

(5) But of course, humans don’t just laugh when we’re wrestling, but also when we’re amused, and even surprised, confused, or nervous. Some scientists think laughter took on expanded functions after humans split from other great apes and developed large social groups and more complex language abilities. (Q3) They hypothesize that laughter gradually became something we could use not just during play but within speech to convey subtle meanings and a range of contexts to show our emotions.

(6) This is thought to be one of the reasons that laughter is contagious: it’s like an invitation to share in someone’s emotional state. Just hearing clips of laughter can activate key regions in your brain, triggering you to smile or laugh yourself. And when participants in one study watched a funny video, they laughed significantly longer and more often when another person was present – even though they reported feeling the same level of amusement.

contagious adj.(疾病)接触传染的

(7) Human laughter is also generally louder than the play vocalizations of most animals. Some scientists speculate that this is because our laughter functions not only as a signal between individuals, but a broadcast to everyone around.

(8) Studies found that observers across the world and as young as 5 months old could reliably tell the difference between close friends and acquaintances just from brief clips of them laughing. (Q4) Similarly, we can tell whether a laugh is real or fake based just on the sound. Fake, or volitional, laughter is produced in entirely different networks in the brain, relying on speech-like pathways. Meanwhile, spontaneous laughter arises from older networks that other animals also use for their vocalizations. And laughter is not just socially important; it’s also thought to be good for us. When we laugh, our brains release feel-good neurotransmitters like endorphins, and decrease levels of stress hormones like cortisol. (Q5) Some research even suggests that people who laugh more can cope with stress more effectively and have better cardiovascular health.

(9) Laughter is a universal human behavior. Babies can laugh before they can speak. Whether it’s the best medicine depends on your ailment. But as something that makes life more tolerable, strengthens bonds, and potentially improves aspects of your health, you can’t go wrong with a good laugh. Unless you have a broken rib or something. Then it’s no laughing matter. Certainly nothing to crack up about.

ailment n. 轻病;小恙



Part III. KEY

Q1. B. 细节题。文章第(2) 段提到:“When you laugh, your abdominal muscles contract rapidly. This alters your breathing patterns...” 意为:当你笑时,你的腹部肌肉会快速收缩。这改变了你的呼吸模式……。因此答案为B

Q2. C. 细节题。文章第(4) 段提到:“...they think laughter may have originally developed to clearly signal friendly, non-aggressive intent.” 意为:“……他们认为笑声最初可能是为了清晰地表达友好、非攻击性的意图而发展起来的。因此答案为C

Q3. D. 推理题。文章第(5) 段提到:“They hypothesize that laughter gradually became something we could use not just during play but within speech to convey subtle meanings and a range of contexts to show our emotions.” 意为:他们假设笑声逐渐成为我们不仅在玩耍中使用,而且在言语中用来传达微妙含义和一系列情境以显示我们的情感的东西。”这说明笑声的功能随着人类从其他大猿类分化后发生了变化,开始承载更广泛的含义和情绪表达。因此答案为D

Q4. C. 细节题。文章第(8) 段提到:“Similarly, we can tell whether a laugh is real or fake based just on the sound.” 意为:同样,我们可以只根据声音判断笑声是真是假。因此答案为C

Q5. A. 主旨题。文章第(8) 段提到:“Some research even suggests that people who laugh more can cope with stress more effectively and have better cardiovascular health.” 意为:一些研究甚至表明,笑得更多的人可以更有效地应对压力,并拥有更好的心血管健康。这表明经常笑可能带来的一个结果是改善心血管健康和压力管理。因此答案为A




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  • 时长:4.9分钟
  • 语速:141wpm
  • 来源:刘立军 2024-03-13