To quote Robert Provine, a pioneer on yawning
may have the dubious distinction of being the least understood, common human behaviour.
"Did someone capture Sarfaraz yawning
," one fan tweeted.
Nobody knows why yawning
seems to be contagious but some ideas include empathy, imitation and an increased need for oxygen when a nearby person takes too much.
Lest we think this is a humans-only phenomenon, contagious yawning
is also a hallmark of chimpanzees and a group of primates known as Old World monkeys.
The researchers observed 36 adults, who were made to watch videos of another person yawning
. They measured the participants' brain activities during the experiment through transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Hence excessive or intractable yawning
has to be kept in mind while prescribing the so called most safe anti-depressant class of medication, the SSRIs, in this case fluoxetine.
also may be related to epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors.
Autism and schizophrenia sufferers are reportedly less able to catch yawns, researchers said, so understanding the genes that might code for contagious yawning
could illuminate new pathways for treatment.
They say their findings show that contagious yawning
may decrease with age, and that it is also not linked with tiredness or energy levels.
"Our findings are consistent with the view that contagious yawning
Other people believe that yawning
is a protective reflex to redistribute the oil-like substance called surfactant that helps keep lungs lubricated inside and keeps them from collapsing.
Researchers used a standard definition of yawning
to distinguish it from non-yawn mouth opening.