Latah, from Southeast Asia, is a condition in which abnormal behaviors result from a person experiencing shock. When surprised, the affected person typically engages in such behaviors as screaming, cursing, dancing type movements, and uncontrollable laughter.
Persons with Latah mimic movements of those similar to the behavior that a child would during certain developmental stages.
Similar conditions have been recorded within other cultures and locations, such as, the so-called Jumping Frenchmen of Maine, women of the Ainu people of Japan (imu), Siberian (miryachit), Filipino and Thai peoples; however, the connection among these syndromes has been controversial.
In popular culture
William S. Burroughs mentions several times Latah in his 1959 novel Naked Lunch, "a parody of modern mass man under modern conditioning programmes of advertising and public induced morality", according to Eric Mottram.
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