Offbeat: Why Do We Yawn? Contagious Yawns Help Cool Down the Brain, Scientists Say - PressFrom - Canada
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OffbeatWhy Do We Yawn? Contagious Yawns Help Cool Down the Brain, Scientists Say

12:00  12 june  2019
12:00  12 june  2019 Source:   newsweek.com

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As yawning is contagious , scientists thought this would test whether the temperature of the blood heading to their brain affected this reflex. Other theories as to why we yawn include one posited by researcher Olivier Walusinski in the journal Clinical Anatomy in 2013.

Yawning appears to be ubiquitous within the animal kingdom. But despite being such a widespread feature, scientists still can’t explain why yawning The real function of yawning , according to one hypothesis, could lie in the human body’s most complex system: the brain . Yawning —a stretching of

Why Do We Yawn? Contagious Yawns Help Cool Down the Brain, Scientists Say© Getty yawn tired sleepy stock getty

Scientists who prevented people from catching yawns in a study believe the reflex helps to cool down the brain.

The study, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, involved 92 undergraduate biology students who changed the temperature of their brains in a lab. The team wanted to test the hypothesis that yawning is triggered when the skull gets too hot, and helps to cool the brain by taking warm blood away while bringing in a cooler supply.

The temperature of the brain can change for a variety of reasons, including stress, cortical arousal and sleep patterns.

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What does yawning say about you and your body? One popular theory is that yawning helps your body bring in more oxygen. But this theory has been mostly debunked. Keep reading to see what current research suggests yawning says about you, your brain temperature, and your potential for

Key Takeaways: Why Do We Yawn ? A yawn is a reflex in response to sleepiness, stress, boredom Gallup and Gallup's research also indicated yawning helps cool the brain , as the colder inhaled air In humans and other vertebrates, yawning is contagious . Catching yawns may communicate fatigue

Participants were instructed to place a cold (4 C/39.2 F), warm (46 C) or room temperature (22 C) pack on their carotid arteries: major blood vessels in the neck that pump blood towards the brain, neck and face. They held the compress in this area for five minutes, and scientists used thermographic imaging equipment to check if the temperature of participants' brain was altered. It's not possible to accurately test the temperature of the brain without an invasive procedure.

Next, the participants watched a 63-second-long video of nine different people yawning. After watching the clips, they filled out questionnaires answering whether they had the urge to yawn before, during or since. As yawning is contagious, scientists thought this would test whether the temperature of the blood heading to their brain affected this reflex.

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Why Do People Yawn ? Is It Really Contagious ? Remember when I said that yawning cools down the brain ? Well, if you proactively make yourself cold, you’re less likely to feel the urge to yawn . Another reason this strategy helps is that if you’ve been sitting in one spot for too long, it can lead to

Yawning has researchers searching for the reasons of why we actually do it. And Why Is It Contagious ? I have always been fascinated by yawning and what purpose it has to our I didn’t see this person yawn but I still heard the distinctive sound and I soon realized that I couldn’t stop myself

As expected, the scientists found cooling was linked to fewer yawn urges. Of the total, 62 participants felt the need to yawn while watching the video. Participants who cooled their brain temperature had less of an urge to yawn than both those in the warm and room temperature groups. A total of 48.5 percent of participants in the cool group felt like yawning, compared with 84.8 percent of those in the warm group; and 69.2 percent in the room temperature group.

"These findings are consistent with previous research indicating that yawns function as a compensatory brain cooling mechanism," the authors wrote.

However, the scientists didn't notice a statistically significant difference between yawning in the warm and room temperature groups. The authors argued this could be because the heating pack may have created a temperature too high for yawning to ease.

Andrew C. Gallup, study co-author and assistant professor of psychology at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, told PsyPost: "Yawning is often misunderstood both within the scientific community and the general public."

Gallup and his team showed in a previous study that people are less likely to catch yawns during the winter than in the summer months. That 2014 work was also published in the journal Physiology & Behavior.

Other theories as to why we yawn include one posited by researcher Olivier Walusinski in the journal Clinical Anatomy in 2013. He argued the reflex helps to send cerebrospinal fluid around the brain.

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