News & Events

If you would like to schedule an interview with a Department of Neurosurgery representative, please contact Douglas Blair, Communications Manager, at 404.778.5343 or

Discovering a Source of Laughter in the Brain
NIH Director's Blog - 2/12/2019
If laughter really is the best medicine, wouldn’t it be great if we could learn more about what goes on in the brain when we laugh? Neuroscientists recently made some major progress on this front by pinpointing a part of the brain that, when stimulated, never fails to induce smiles and laughter.

Scientists Find the Brain's 'Funny Bone' Region
Daily Mail - 2/4/2019
Laughter really is the best medicine for brain surgery as it helps relax the patient, a new study has found. During delicate brain surgery where the patient is awake, if they panic and start to move about it could be life threatening.

Laughter may be the Best Medicine - for the Brain
Medical Xpress - 2/4/2019
Neuroscientists at Emory University School of Medicine have discovered a focal pathway in the brain that when electrically stimulated causes immediate laughter, followed by a sense of calm and happiness, even during awake brain surgery. 

Doctors Zapped a Woman's Brain so She Could Laugh Through Awake Brain Surgery
Live Science - 2/4/2019
"Immediately she had profound relief, she was happy, able to communicate and able to make jokes" said senior case report author Dr. Jon Willie, a neurosurgeon at Emory University School of Medicine. Willie was one of the surgeons who operated on the woman. 

How the Brain Decides Whether to Hold 'Em or Fold 'Em
ScienMag - 1/8/2019
Why do people make high-risk decisions – not only in casinos, but also in other aspects of their lives – even when they know the odds are stacked against them?