In Summary

A unique comedy gig, presented by Swinburne University of Technology, will offer a line-up of local stand-up comedians teamed with an interactive lecture on the psychology of humour.

Swinburne researcher and clinical psychologist, Dr Jay Brinker, will host a light-hearted evening of humour, covering theories of humour dating back to ancient times, how humour is used to establish social hierarchies, aggressive humour, such as sarcasm and humour and the brain.

Dr Brinker, who also writes for YAWP comedy magazine, has focused her research on the way people perceive humour - what is it about the observer that relates to how they see humour?

“Humour and laughter are such an integral part of the human experience it is somewhat surprising that psychological research is relatively limited in this area,” Dr Brinker said.

I believe that we can sense the intention behind someone’s humour.  I want to confirm this, but even more I want to know how.”

Throughout the lecture, a series of comedy sets will be delivered by up-and-coming stand-up comedians, Jonathan Schuster, Dave Quirk and Danny McGinlay.

During the performances, an audience member will be hooked up to an electroencephalography (EEG), and images produced from the EEG will be broadcast on a screen. The audience will have the opportunity to see what’s actually happening in the brain when we perceive humour.