Is Yawning Really Contagious? Science May Have Finally Figured It Out…

We’ve all had the experience of trying to hold back a yawn after watching someone else yawn. We’ve heard that yawning is contagious, and it is actually true! Scientists think they may have finally uncovered the reason why holding back a yawn can be so hard.

Scientists at the University of Nottingham have found that contagious yawning is known to be a common form of echophenomena, the automatic imitation of another’s words or actions. Surprisingly humans, chimpanzees and dogs all have the echophenomena response.

These scientists believe that this response to yawning is an instinctive reflex that is triggered in the primary motor cortex of the brain. In fact, these scientists also say that echophenomena is found in a wide range of conditions and disorders. Some of these conditions including epilepsy, dementia, autism, and Tourette’s syndrome. They are hoping that their findings about echophenomena may also help them to better understand these disorders.

The research team monitored 36 adults and observed what happened when the participants saw video clips of another individual yawning. The participants were either instructed to try and stifle yawning or to allow themselves to yawn.

Their evidence suggests that our ability to resist yawning when someone else around us yawns is limited. What is even more surprising is that our urge to yawn actually increases if we are instructed to resist yawning! It has also been found that some of us have a more difficult time resisting a yawn than others.

Scientists used an electrical stimulation tool known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in this study. The team was actually able to boost ‘excitability’ in the motor cortex and increase a participant’s urge to yawn.

Can you resist yawning? Share this story and ask your friends what they think about this scientific phenomenon!

 

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Can JESUS still heal?

My Friend,

1. Our bodies can do amazing things!

2. God has created humans in his image.

3. Take care of your body and treat it as God’s temple.

Can you resist yawning? Share this story and ask your friends what they think about this scientific phenomenon!

God bless you and your family,
Aaron Tabor, MD