Laugh or Scream, It’s All in the Genes

Science!Ever wonder why some people laugh during horror movies and others cower in fear? Researchers from Germany’s University of Bonn think they have it figured out…

A particular variant of the ‘COMT’ gene affects a chemical in the brain that is linked to anxiety, they have found.

People who have two copies of one version of the gene are more easily disturbed when viewing unpleasant pictures, the scientists discovered.

That version of the gene weakens the effect of a signalling chemical in the brain that helps control certain emotions.

The scientists found that those carrying two copies of it were significantly more startled by frightening images than others.

By contrast, those who had one copy of the gene and one copy of another version were able to keep their emotions in check far more readily.

Interesting, to say the least. Maybe now less people will label us psychos for laughing at graphic cinematic violence. Click here to read the rest of the article. But I think we can all agree on one thing… If you screamed during the new Prom Night, you’re just a pussy.


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Mike Phalin

Mike Phalin is a contributing writer, reality television star and engineer.

  • PelusaMG

    Now I know why after drinking a SUBSTANTIAL amount of beer, and having gone back home with a VERY unattractive woman several years ago, I started to laugh when I could not (ahem) ‘perform’… :-/

  • Kryten Syxx

    What if you screamed at the song from the original Prom Night?

    • Sam Hell

      Are you referring to the debatably groovy disco numbers?

      Or do you mean, “The killer’s gonna getcha?” I don’t know why you’d scream for that though, unless Fran Drescher was saying it. I will admit it’s about the only thing that affected me when I watched that movie as a kid.

  • Sam Hell

    “If you screamed during the new Prom Night, you’re just a pussy.”

    Hell, if you screamed during the original Prom Night, you should probably consider avoiding the horror genre altogether.

  • ImTheMoon

    I remember hearing about this a few days ago, what it could mean to the treatment of those with chemical imbalances is huge.