Something we all do almost everyday, yawn, is often just an afterthought. We process yawns socially and interpret them as indiciating that someone is tired or bored, but according to some new research there is more to the story. First, a new theory on yawning is that a yawn helps cool the brain. Subjects in a study yawned more when their brains were warmer.

Next, most people have recognized that yawns are contagious. An evolutionary theory suggests that we are biologically predisposed to yawn when soemone else does either because we are helping each other stay alert to dangers (actualy helps us stay awake) or that it is some anxiety ‘herding ritual’. It is fascinating to me that such a basic behavior is still so mysterious. It also might make us all think twice before taking a yawn during a social interaction as some sort of insult or indication that a conversation is boring.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 7 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Jul 2007
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Meek, W. (2007). The Science of Yawning. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/07/08/the-science-of-yawning/

 

Recent Comments
  • Seducelove: Women and men communicate in entirely different ways, especially these days that women have become more...
  • Mike: This was such a good read that I took time out to leave a comment (on an unknown website with an unknown...
  • Amanda: 2 days ago I started having flu like symptoms col hot headache nausea sore body extreme lack of energy the...
  • anonymous: Are you kidding me? A victim of this would actually choose this life? And that’s what I’m...
  • 707: So basically, if you can’t afford it, you’re screwed.
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12850
Join Us Now!