Why Is Yawning Contagious? : Discovery News


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** Why Is Yawning Contagious? **

Sep 15, 2010 03:00 AM ET // by Emily Sohn
Although all vertebrates yawn, contagious yawning only exists only humans,
chimpanzees and possibly dogs.
Getty Images
Related Links
Did you just eat lunch and now you're ready for a nap? Wonder why that

Source: news.discovery.com/human/health/yawning-social-behavior.htm

why are yawns contagious

Yawn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Yawn **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Yawning" redirects here. For the fish species, see Yawning (fish).

A rottweiler yawning.jpg
A rottweiler (King Kong) yawning
Organisms Vertebrates
Biological system Nervous system
Health Unaffected or Beneficial
Action Involuntary
Stimuli Fatigue
Others yawning
Method Complete extension of jaw, inhalation, eyes close, stretching of the
eardrums, exhalation
Duration 6 seconds

Joseph Ducreux pandiculating; self-portrait ca. 1783

A *yawn* is a reflex of simultaneous inhalation of air and stretching of
the eardrums, followed by exhalation of breath. *Pandiculation* is the act
of yawning and stretching simultaneously.^[1]

Yawning is commonly associated with tiredness, stress, overwork, lack of
stimulation and boredom, though recent studies show it may be linked to the
cooling of the brain.^[2] In humans, yawning is often triggered by others
yawning (e.g., seeing a person yawning, talking to someone on the phone who
is yawning) and is a typical example of positive feedback.^[3] This
"infectious" yawning has also been observed in chimpanzees and dogs.^[4]

Yawn comes from Old English 'Ginian' and 'Gionian' meaning to "Open the
mouth wide, gape," which in turn comes from the Proto-Germanic base *gin-*.


· 1 Proposed causes
· 2 Contagiousness
· 3 Animal yawning
· 4 Culture
· 5 References
· 6 Further reading
· 7 External links

*Proposed causes[edit]*

File:Fetal yawning 4D ultrasound ecografia 4D Dr. Wolfgang
Video of a yawning fetus at 30 weeks of pregnancy ^[5]

There are a number of theories that attempt to explain why animals and
people yawn.^[6]^[7] It is likely that there are a number of triggers for
the behavior. However, there are a few theories that attempt to explain the
/primary/ evolutionary reason

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yawn

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