The Surprisingly Serious Science of Laughing Babies -Talk by Dr. Caspar Addyman

The surprisingly serious science of laughing babies Dr. Caspar Addyman, Birkbeck Babylab

The laughter of little babies is infectious, enchanting and may play an important role in their early development. Dr. Caspar Addyman is a psychologist who studies what it is like to be a baby. After testing hundreds of babies in his experiments he was able to conclude that it is clearly great fun being a baby. But this is something that science largely overlooks. Therefore, he launched the Baby Laughter Project

( and ) to investigate the role of laughter in early life. Over a 1000 parents from more than 25 countries have completed a detailed online survey and many have sent us stories or videos of things that make their babies laugh.

In this talk Dr Addyman will present the results of his research and describe how it answers questions about of the purpose of laughter. How does laughter track mental development? Is there an evolutionary explanation for why we laugh? Is infant laughter a form of communication? What are the best ways to make a baby laugh? Was tickling babies the first ever form of comedy?

Dr. Caspar Addyman works at the Babylab at Birkbeck, University of London. He specialises in the study of learning in the first few years of life and has researched such topics as how we learn our first words and how our sense of time develops. Caspar has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology from Birkbeck. Before moving into academia he spent 8 years working on financial trading floors, first as a trader and later as a software developer. He has a written a novel about a retired psychologist & a failed comedian. He has turquoise hair and lots of tattoos, many of which were stimuli in his experiments. He lives in Brixton and doesn’t do as much tai chi as he should. Further details on Dr Addyman's research areas at

The talk will be in the basement of the Star of Kings. 

There is a suggested donation of £10 on the day.
Concessions £ 8
Regulars £5 (if you have attended 5 or more sessions you become a regular)

Donations will go to the following charities

Kids Company

We provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children. We provide a safe, caring, family environment where support is tailored to the needs of each individual. Our services and support empower children who have experienced enormous challenges to lead positive and fulfilling lives.


Kidscape is committed to keeping children safe from abuse. Kidscape is the first charity in the UK established specifically to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse. Kidscape believes that protecting children from harm is key.

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  • Nat T.

    Here is Dr Addyman's research paper on laughter and babies

    March 17, 2014

  • Lotta

    Fun and informative talk. Thank you!

    March 16, 2014

  • Candida P.

    Thank you to Casper for giving a very interesting talk and to Nihat for arrange the talk

    1 · March 14, 2014

  • Candida P.

    It was very interesting and helpful.

    1 · March 14, 2014

  • Caspar A.

    Thank you everyone who attended. I hope you enjoyed it and that I didn't waffle too much. I am happy to report that all together we raise £100 for Kidscape and Kids Company

    1 · March 13, 2014

    • Nat T.

      Thank you so much for a very informative evening. Your talk disppelled a lot of hearsay and theories I read or was wondering about. Looking forward to reading more on your research in your book.

      March 14, 2014

  • Nat T.

    We are meeting tonight at 7:30pm at the Star of Kings, N1 0AX, see you all later.

    March 13, 2014

  • Nat T.

    Hello All, the talk is tomorrow evening at the Star of Kings pub, we are going to be downstairs. The pub is about 10 minutes walk from the Kings Cross tube station, very close to the Guardian & Observer building. Looking forward to seeing you there

    March 12, 2014

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