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Saint Helena Virtual Forum


Sasha Winkler

Biological Anthropology

University of California, Los Angeles

Doug photo_edited.jpg

Douglas Barr

Saint Helena Forum Board Chair

Actor, Screenwriter, Director, Producer


Chimps do it. Cows do it. Dogs and cats and rats do it. Whales do it. Birds do it. Even you and I do it.  Why do it?  Why do we laugh?

Across many animals, complex social play is well-documented and laughter (scientists use the term play vocalizations), has been reported in sixty-five species. But seriously, why are we all laughing and what is so darn funny?

Sasha Winkler is a PhD candidate at UCLA and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her background is in primatology and she holds an MA in Biological Anthropology from UCLA. She researches social behavior in primates, with a focus on the evolution of play, vocal communication, and learning. Her current research focuses on the cognitive effects of laughter in humans and bonobos. Sasha has a degree in linguistics and cognitive science from Pomona College.

Sasha will be interviewed by Saint Helena Forum Chair, Douglas Barr.

The program can be viewed at either of the links below.
A waiting room will open at approximately 5:20PM PST. The program begins promptly at the half hour. If you arrive early you may have to refresh your screen to see the waiting room.  Registration is not necessary to view the program.

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