Self-Portrait, Yawning – Google Art Project. Approximately 20 psychological reasons for yawning have been proposed by scholars, but there is little agreement about its main functions. Yawning is sometimes accompanied, both in humans and animals, by an contagious why things catch on free pdf download act of stretching several parts of the body, including arms, neck, shoulders and back. File:Fetal yawning 4D ultrasound ecografia 4D Dr.
There are a number of theories that attempt to explain why humans and other animals yawn. It is likely that there are a number of triggers for the behavior. However, there are comparatively few theories that attempt to explain the primary evolutionary reason for the yawn. Yawning may in fact reduce oxygen intake compared to normal respiration. However, neither providing more oxygen nor reducing carbon dioxide in air decreased yawning.
Another proposal points out that animals subject to predation or other dangers must be ready to physically exert themselves at any given moment. At least one study suggests that yawning, especially psychological “contagious” yawning, may have developed as a way of keeping a group of animals alert. If an animal is drowsy or bored, it may not be as alert as it should be to spring into action. Therefore, the “contagious” yawn could be an instinctual reaction to a signal from one member of the group reminding the others to stay alert. Nervousness has also been suggested as a possible reason.
Nervousness often indicates the perception of an impending need for action. Anecdotal evidence suggests that yawning helps increase the state of alertness of a person. Paratroopers have been noted to yawn in the moments before they exit the aircraft. Research data strongly suggest that neither contagious nor story-induced yawning are reliable in children below the age of six years.
Another notion states that yawning is the body’s way of controlling brain temperature. Mammalian brains operate best within a narrow temperature range. In two experiments, they demonstrated that both subjects with cold packs attached to their foreheads and subjects asked to breathe strictly nasally exhibited reduced contagious yawning when watching videos of people yawning. Guttmann and Dopart determined that a yawn causes one of three possible situations to occur: the brain cools down due to an influx or outflux of oxygen, the pressure in the brain is reduced by an outflux of oxygen, or the pressure of the brain is increased by an influx of air caused by increased cranial space. Excessive yawning is more common during the first three months of taking the SSRIs. It signals tiredness to other members of the group in order to synchronize sleeping patterns and periods.
We believe that contagious yawning indicates empathy. It indicates an appreciation of other peoples’ behavioral and physiological state,” says Norris. The yawn reflex has long been observed to be contagious. Often, if one person yawns, this may cause another person to “empathetically” yawn. Yawning may be an offshoot of the same imitative impulse.
In fact, the autistic children actually yawned less during the videos of yawning than during the control videos. This supports the claim that contagious yawning is related to empathic capacity. The study revealed that—among other variables such as nationality, gender, and sensory modality—only social bonding predicted the occurrence, frequency, and latency of yawn contagion. As with other measures of empathy, the rate of contagion was found to be greatest in response to kin, then friends, then acquaintances, and lastly strangers. Hence, yawn contagion appears to be primarily driven by the emotional closeness between individuals. In some cases, the yawn is used as a threat gesture as a way of maintaining order in the primates’ social structure.