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For infants, distinguishing between friends and strangers is a laughing matter

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Infants as young as five months can differentiate laughter between friends and between strangers, finds a new study.

It has been recently established that co-laughter — or simultaneous laughter between two or more individuals — allows adult listeners across different cultures and languages to quickly evaluate the nature of relationships between people: are they friends, acquaintances, or strangers?

The study suggests that the ability to detect this nature of social relationships is instilled early in human infancy, possibly the result of a detection system that uses vocal cues.
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“Infants’ sensitivity to different kinds of laughter might be one of the early emerging tools they use to understand and navigate the complex social world,” said Athena Vouloumanos, Associate Professor from the New York University.

“Very brief instances of shared laughter can reveal rich information about people’s relationships, detectable in infants as young as five months of age and universally by adults around the world,” added co-author Gregory Bryant, Professor at University of California-Los Angeles.

For the study, published in the Scientific Reports journal, the team examined how five-month-olds processed exchanges of co-laughter of adults — specifically, those who were strangers and those who were friends — by gauging how long they listened to these sounds.

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The team found that infants could not only differentiate between the laughter of friends and strangers, but, when given the choice, they preferred to listen longer to co-laughter between friends.

In another experiment, the team found that infants could tie co-laughter to judgments about human relationships.

“The ability to rapidly evaluate acoustic features in co-laughter that reveal social relationships between individuals appears early in human infancy and might be the product of an adaptive affiliation detection system that uses vocal cues,” the authors said.

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After WhatsApp Groups, User Phone Numbers Found In Google Search Results.

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WhatsApp continues to be in the news for some wrong reasons. The messaging app has been attracting attention over the new privacy policy row. Now, phone numbers of WhatsApp web users have reportedly been found on Google Search. This comes a few days after it was reported that group chats have been exposed on Google Search. Users could simply search for the group on Google they want to join. The latest breach has leaked the phone number of WhatsApp’s web users, according to an report. Let’s take a look at the latest WhatsApp update issue to see if there are things you could do to avoid exposing your details online.

Details of WhatsApp’s Web users have leaked online. According to the a report, the messaging app has allegedly exposed the phone numbers of the web users on Google Search via indexing. This comes days after another report which stated that group chats have been exposed on Google Search.

Security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaria claims that the phone numbers of WhatsApp web users have appeared on Google Search. “If someone is using WhatsApp on a laptop or on an office PC, the mobile numbers are being indexed on Google Search. These are mobile numbers of individual users, not business numbers,” Rajaharia told IANS. The researcher also shared some screenshots with the publication.

WhatsApp, earlier today, announced that it is delaying its new policy by three months. The messaging app is doing so to help everyone understand its principles and the facts. “We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts,” it said. The messaging app also announced that no one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. 

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