Quantitative Laughter Detection, Measurement, and Classification - A Critical Survey

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The study of human nonverbal social behaviors has taken a more quantitative and computational approach in recent years due to the development of smart interfaces and virtual agents or robots able to interact socially. One of the most interesting nonverbal social behaviors, producing a characteristic vocal signal, is laughing. Laughter is produced in several different situations: in response to external physical, cognitive, or emotional stimuli; to negotiate social interactions; and also, pathologically, as a consequence of neural damage. For this reason, laughter has attracted researchers from many disciplines. A consequence of this multidisciplinarity is the absence of a holistic vision of this complex behavior: the methods of analysis and classification of laughter, as well as the terminology used, are heterogeneous; the findings sometimes contradictory and poorly documented. This survey aims at collecting and presenting objective measurement methods and results from a variety of different studies in different fields, to contribute to build a unified model and taxonomy of laughter. This could be successfully used for advances in several fields, from artificial intelligence and human-robot interaction to medicine and psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7403873
Pages (from-to)148-162
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Emotion recognition
  • human gesture reco-gnition
  • human-machine interaction
  • human-robot interaction
  • laughter
  • physiological signal processing
  • sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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