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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Mar 15, 2019


Young infants use the quality of laughter they hear to help them separate family and friend from stranger danger.  A joint study by communication psychologists at New York University and UCLA concludes that babies as young as 5 months of age can detect social relationships by decoding the sounds of laughter.

Using both audio and video experiments, the investigators showed that these infants could distinguish between the laughter of friends and strangers with visual or with only audio cues.  The babies definitely preferred listening to the laughter of friends.

When the sounds did not match the video as would be case when the the infants heard friend laughter but saw strangers, the babies acted somewhat puzzled and continued listening to decode the situation.

This research once again shows just how perceptive young infants can be.  As parents, we need to be sensitive to their skills and needs by populating their world with consistent happiness and security.

#Laughter #friends #strangers #colaughter #infants

Athena Vouloumanos, Gregory A. Bryant. Five-month-old infants detect affiliation in colaughter. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-38954-4