Advertisement

Yawns More Contagious Among Friends

People who are emotionally connected are more likely to catch the yawns from one another.

By | December 7, 2011

FLICKR, MAKELESSNOISE

Most people have experienced “yawn contagion”—when one person in the groups starts yawning, everyone starts doing it. But the cause of this phenomenon has long stumped scientists. Now a new study published today (December 7) in PLoS ONE, suggests that the contagion may be due to social empathy.

Researchers at the University of Pisa in Italy found that yawns are more contagious in terms of occurrence, frequency, and response latency among family and friends than acquaintances strangers. In fact, just like other measures of empathy, the rate of contagion was greatest first among kin, then friends, then acquaintances, then strangers, suggesting that the neuronal activation that triggered the yawning response differs depending on familiarity with the yawner.

“We present the only naturalistic study of yawn contagion in humans that provides evidence of the linkage between yawn contagion and empathy,” the authors wrote. “Our results demonstrate that yawn contagion is primarily driven by the emotional closeness between individuals.”

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: etlane

etlane

Posts: 1

January 6, 2012

Hypothesis: People who need more social interaction than they have, exhibit enhanced sensitivity to yawn inducing stimuli: thinking about yawning, pictures of people yawning, hearing talk about yawning, reading articles about yawning, etc. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 6, 2012

Hypothesis: People who need more social interaction than they have, exhibit enhanced sensitivity to yawn inducing stimuli: thinking about yawning, pictures of people yawning, hearing talk about yawning, reading articles about yawning, etc. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 6, 2012

Hypothesis: People who need more social interaction than they have, exhibit enhanced sensitivity to yawn inducing stimuli: thinking about yawning, pictures of people yawning, hearing talk about yawning, reading articles about yawning, etc. 

Advertisement
RayBiotech
RayBiotech

Popular Now

  1. Judge Decides on GM Rice Retraction
  2. Ancient Viruses as Gene Therapy Vectors
  3. The Prescient Placenta
    Features The Prescient Placenta

    The maternal-fetal interface plays important roles in the health of both mother and baby, even after birth.

  4. Inspired by Nature
    Features Inspired by Nature

    Researchers are borrowing designs from the natural world to advance biomedicine.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Life Technologies