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Epileptic Disorders

The Educational Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy

Mirth and laughter elicited during brain stimulation Volume 13, issue 4, December 2011

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Authors
Department of Neurology University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Department of Neurology Harper University Hospital, Wayne State University, Detroit, Department of Neurosurgery University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA
  • Key words: brain stimulation, cortical mapping, mirth, laughter, language areas, negative motor areas, gelastic seizures
  • DOI : 10.1684/epd.2011.0480
  • Page(s) : 435-40
  • Published in: 2011

There are few reports of laughter and/or mirth evoked by electrical stimulation of the brain. In this study, we present a patient with intractable epilepsy in whom mirth and laughter was consistently produced during stimulation of the left inferior frontal gyrus (opercular part) using stereotactically placed depth electrodes. A review of the literature shows that cortical sites that produce mirth when stimulated are located in the dominant hemisphere close to language areas or cortical negative motor areas.