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zarvirus

Why is yawning contagious?

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This is a fact but no one has a fully convincing explanation of why is yawning contagious, we can see someone yawn and unconsciously do the same thing...scientists have recentlu found that this is not only a human conduct but also an animal conduct, but again none seem to know why is is contagious...any clues on this one?

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*yawns* No joke, when I seen the picture of dude yawning, I had to yawn too.

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*yawns* No joke, when I seen the picture of dude yawning, I had to yawn too.

I know but go you have any clue why is so contagious?

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Probabaly seeing someone yawning sets of a response in your brain that triggers your yawning response, which would indicate a relation between sight and yawning in the brain.

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It could be a way of making yourself non-threatening to the other person. It may be that when we were sll cavemen, that yawning could have shown that we were tired and therefore not at our best, making us open to attack. Perhaps by also yawning, we show that we don't want to attack the person? :hmm:

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This is a fact but no one has a fully convincing explanation of why is yawning contagious, we can see someone yawn and unconsciously do the same thing...scientists have recentlu found that this is not only a human conduct but also an animal conduct, but again none seem to know why is is contagious...any clues on this one?

user posted image

I am yawning just by looking at this :sleepy: so it must be true...it is contagious LOL

I think in a group of men...farting and belching is also contagous...once one guy starts they ALL join in to see who can do the loudest and the smelliest...no joke :blink::w00t:

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Posted (edited)

It is a psychological thing. There is always a thing in us to be unrestricted and free, so when we see someone at ease and yawning, we involuntarily want to do it too and so, viola! We yawn. *yawns* :lol:

Edited by Bone_Collector

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It could be a way of making yourself non-threatening to the other person. It may be that when we were sll cavemen, that yawning could have shown that we were tired and therefore not at our best, making us open to attack. Perhaps by also yawning, we show that we don't want to attack the person? :hmm:

Most ideas of why yawning is contagious stem from the neanderthals, but zarvirus says it happens among animals aswell, so it should have happened long before cavemen.

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mind over matter and the power of suggestion!

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Maybe in early humans, yawn contagiousness might have helped people communicate their alertness levels to each other, and thus coordinate their sleep schedules.

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Emotion is to understand by others.. if you are sad others can feel it.. happiness, anger.. etc.. yawn also same category.. yawn comes when you are tired.. (mostly tiredness of mind) And here in this world.. most of them always are tired by their own mind.. yawn comes when you need topic change in your mind.. when a person see somebody yawn.. they too feel like change their topic.. (who don't want a change) no one can live in present.. this Emotion is just faster like Electric motion,, that is a mystery..

If someone even after see a yawn don't want to yawn.. just snap.. even if the person snap when they yawn.. can avoid others contuining it.. by this you can break the wave..

I may be wrong... because this is my observation.. i can't prove it

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It could be a way of making yourself non-threatening to the other person. It may be that when we were sll cavemen, that yawning could have shown that we were tired and therefore not at our best, making us open to attack. Perhaps by also yawning, we show that we don't want to attack the person? :hmm:

Or the opposite? Baboons yawn, as do hippos. Both as a threat display. Whether this is the same "yawn" I dunno. I reckon it's probably just a sub-conscious thing. Everyone says it, so it ends up as true.

Actually why do we yawn anyways? Is it to wake ourselves up when sleepy?

RKD

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Posted (edited)

A more recent hypothesis is that yawning is used for regulation of body temperature. Another hypothesis is that yawns are caused by the same chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain that affect emotions, mood, appetite and other phenomena. These chemicals include serotonin, dopamine, glutamic acid and nitric oxide. As more of these compounds are activated in the brain, the frequency of yawning increases. Conversely, a greater presence in the brain of opiate neurotransmitters such as endorphins, reduces the frequency of yawning. Patients taking the serotonin reuptake inhibitor Paxil (Paroxetine HCl) have been observed yawning abnormally often.

Another theory is that yawning is similar to stretching. Yawning, like stretching, increases blood pressure and heart rate while also flexing many muscles and joints. It is also theorized that yawning helps redistribute an oil-like substance which coats the lungs and aids breathing. Some have observed that if you try to stifle or prevent a yawn by clenching your jaws shut, the yawn is unsatisfying. As such, the stretching of jaw and face muscles seems to be necessary for a good yawn.

It can serve as a warning in displaying large, canine teeth. This phenomenon has been observed among various primates. The threat gesture is a way of maintaining order in the primates' social structure.

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Edited by Raptor X7

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Or the opposite? Baboons yawn, as do hippos. Both as a threat display. Whether this is the same "yawn" I dunno. I reckon it's probably just a sub-conscious thing. Everyone says it, so it ends up as true.

Actually why do we yawn anyways? Is it to wake ourselves up when sleepy?

RKD

i think we yawn to remember ourselfs that we are in need of something, like food, sleep, etc...

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Lol I really had to yawn when reading this topic.

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http://www.howstuffworks.com/question572.htm

* The Physiological Theory -- Our bodies induce yawning to drawn in more oxygen or remove a build-up of carbon dioxide. This theory helps explain why we yawn in groups. Larger groups produce more carbon dioxide, which means our bodies would act to draw in more oxygen and get rid of the excess carbon dioxide. However, if our bodies make us yawn to drawn in needed oxygen, wouldn't we yawn during exercise? Robert Provine, a psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a leading expert on yawning, has tested this theory. Giving people additional oxygen didn't decrease yawning and decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in a subject's environment also didn't prevent yawning.

* The Evolution Theory -- Some think that yawning is something that began with our ancestors, who used yawning to show their teeth and intimidate others. An offshoot of this theory is the idea that yawning developed from early man as a signal for us to change activities.

* The Boredom Theory -- In the dictionary, yawning is said to be caused by boredom, fatigue or drowsiness. Although we do tend to yawn when bored or tired, this theory doesn't explain why Olympic athletes yawn right before they compete in their event. It's doubtful that they are bored with the world watching them.

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OOOH WEIRD...I was just wondering this today and intended to look it up when I got home. Terrifying.

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i think we yawn to remember ourselfs that we are in need of something, like food, sleep, etc...

Every afternoon after a nice meal I really start yawning.

I put it down to one of those involuntary things like testing reflexes with a small hammer to the knee.

Ever noticed when one person looks up quite a few more will start looking up to?

Program I watched a while back suggested that the reason everyone starts yawning is as a sign of how big your teeth are :unsure2:

Compare yourself etc....

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Program I watched a while back suggested that the reason everyone starts yawning is as a sign of how big your teeth are

It wouldn't surprise me, animals like hippos and baboons do something very similar.

The Physiological Theory -- Our bodies induce yawning to drawn in more oxygen or remove a build-up of carbon dioxide. This theory helps explain why we yawn in groups. Larger groups produce more carbon dioxide, which means our bodies would act to draw in more oxygen and get rid of the excess carbon dioxide. However, if our bodies make us yawn to drawn in needed oxygen, wouldn't we yawn during exercise? Robert Provine, a psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a leading expert on yawning, has tested this theory. Giving people additional oxygen didn't decrease yawning and decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in a subject's environment also didn't prevent yawning.

I think it could be something related to breathing aswell, if you deliberately change your breathing pattern after a few minutes you begin to yawn.

It most probably has more than one cause, but most researchers tend to look for one single reason for it.

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opposite of farting? LAWL

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Probabaly seeing someone yawning sets of a response in your brain that triggers your yawning response, which would indicate a relation between sight and yawning in the brain.

yeah thats what i heard it subconsiously triggers a reaction to sleep in ur brain or something like that im not sure :blink:

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The reason is: Our emotions no matter how evil we are, we inside care for other people (I know I sound like Barney but I studied on this.) Chimpanzees do the same thing. :yes:

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Let me start by stating that I hate the type of post I'm about to make but oh well...

A few years ago I recall watching a nature/discovery channel on lions. One of the major topics of the show was theorizing on the yawning of the hunting lion. Lions are known to sit still for hours waiting and stalking prey. As these lions wait patiently and quietly for their next meal they constantly yawn. It was believed that this act was meant to increase the oxygen in their body and in turn increase their attentiveness and reflexes.

I found it interesting. Normally we associate yawning with boredom, however in the years since seeing the show I've noticed that I only yawn when I'm trying to pay attention. Perhaps the next time someone yawns during a conversation you should take less offense and a realize that your listener is actually quite captivated in what you're saying!

As to why it is contagious. This is pure speculation on my part, but perhaps as a watchman will send a signal down the line to the next watchman that all is clear, perhaps we as well as animals are sending the same type signal. All is fine, continue on with your vigilant attentiveness.

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I think, originally, a yawn was a way of passing a message on. We see or hear someone yawn, yawn ourselves, someone sees or hears us, yawns, e.t.c.

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Reading this thread I started yawning so much my eyes are watering.

I also had heard the oxygen theory and it does make sense sometimes. For example, when I'm sitting on the couch (tired or not), I can feel my breathing decrease (in fact sometimes I have to remember to take larger breaths) but my heart rate is about the same as it usually is. That's when I start yawning, even though I'm not tired.

Of course, like someone said, that doesn't happen all the time. If so, theoretically I wouldn't yawn as much when I visit my family at sea level (I live at 7200 ft). Or I'd yawn when I was exercising.

Being tired doesn't fit either because I'm not tired now and I can't stop yawning (and can barely see the keyboard with my eyes all watery).

Maybe it's just a combination of factors. It could be partially physical, mental, and evolutional.

Of course, there could be tiny little yawnon particles that build up in our body and we have to yawn to release them. ;)

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