Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping and Beyond
by Robert R. Provine
Harvard University Press, 2012 ($24.95)

Provine, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, has written a charming ode to “Small Science”—science that does not require a large budget or fancy equipment but that is interesting nonetheless. Taking examples from his own research, some of which involved nothing more complicated than stalking graduate students and observing how and when they laugh, he explains the origins of some of the most prevalent, but often overlooked, human behaviors.