Let Me Know If You Yawn

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple
    Offline

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,092
    Thanks Received:
    445
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +447
    Bored? Weary? Empathetic?
    By Dawn Fallik, The Philadelphia Inquirer
    January 6, 2006

    Think about someone yawning. Jaws gape. Lips spread wide. Arms stretch. There's that quick inhale and the long aaaahhhhh. Yawning yet? Don't worry. We're not offended. In fact, according to a new Drexel University study, you're just being kind.

    Yawning is an ancient, primitive act. Humans do it even before they're born, opening wide in the womb. Some snakes unhinge their jaws to do it. One species of penguins yawns as part of mating.

    Only now are researchers beginning to understand why we yawn, when we yawn and why we yawn back. Steven M. Platek, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at Drexel, studies the act of contagious yawning, something done only by people and other primates.

    In his first study, published in 2004, he used a psychological test to rank people on their empathic feelings. He found that participants who didn't score high on compassion didn't yawn back. "We literally had people saying, 'Why am I looking at people yawning?'" Platek said. "It just had no effect."

    For his second study, Platek put 10 students in an MRI machine as they watched videos of people yawning. That study was published in February with Feroze Mohamed, associate director of Temple University's Functional Brain Imaging Lab, and Gordon Gallup Jr., of the State University of New York at Albany.

    When the students watched the videos, what reacted was the part of the brain that scientists believe controls empathy - the posterior cingulate, located in the brain's middle rear. "I don't know if it's necessarily that nice people yawn more, but I think it's a good indicator of a state of mind," said Platek. "It's also a good indicator if you're empathizing with me and paying attention."

    For full article:
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0106/yawning.php3
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. dmp
    Offline

    dmp Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    13,088
    Thanks Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Ratings:
    +741
    That's pretty freaky...half-way thru what you posted i started fighting my yawning-urges. lol. :)
     

Share This Page