What Does Your Sneeze Say About You?

Monday, August 20, 2012

A baby... about to sneeze... A baby... about to sneeze... (Jeroen/flickr)

Until recently, we thought of laughing, sneezing and hiccuping as ordinary human actions. But it turns out that these seemingly-mundane behaviors have a long evolutionary history. In fact, how we cough, laugh and hiccup says a lot about our psychology, and that of our ancestors. 

Robert Provine is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. His new book is called "Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping and Beyond." 

Robert describes his work of "sidewalk neuroscience," or, as he writes, "a scientific approach to everyday behavior based on simple observations and demonstrations."


Dr. Robert Provine

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [2]

Ben from Westchester

Oh please, someone just take this show off the air already. Is anyone listening?

I'm sure everyone who works on it is doing their best, I'm sure they are all nice guests at dinner parties, and so on. But this is taking up airtime and there are probably a thousand things at WNYC on tape from the 1970s that would be more interesting.

Everytime I hear cutesy crap like "let's face it, human bodies are weird" or the words "news driven conversation" I just want to cancel my WNYC membership. Please please please I beg you.

Aug. 20 2012 03:55 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sidewalk neuroscience can get ugly on the streets of New York... I loved the segment but I couldn't stop yawning, just hearing about it all made me start yawning.

I wouldn't want to have a cough and be in this Professor's classroom while he is lecturing, I can tell you that

Aug. 20 2012 10:23 AM

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