KidBrains - Why do we Yawn? The Science of Yawning.
Posted December 1st, 2017 by arnavpatnaik27
December 1st, 2017
So, people yawn. That is not the question what this KidBrains post is for. But the big question is WHY we yawn. If someone around us yawns, we feel like yawning. If you see a picture of someone yawning, you feel like yawning. If you see the word ‘yawning’, you feel like yawning. I just yawned myself. You probably just yawned as well. So it is obviously contagious, but not like contagious illnesses or anything like that. If something is contagious, it means it can spread from one person or organism to another, typically by direct contact. But this still does not explain why we yawn when we see a video of someone yawning, for example. I just yawned, AGAIN.
One theory is that if your breathing slows, or if you do not take in enough oxygen for a period of time, a yawn will take in a higher quantity of oxygen and release more carbon dioxide from your blood stream. Furthermore, when the brain’s temperature gets too high, inhaling air can help it to cool down, which is why we yawn less in winter. When you are bored, your brain does not feel energetic so it slows down, causing a temperature drop. But if you SEE someone yawn, and the same occurs to you, it is because you are in the same environment as them and the temperature is the same. Normally, people with migraines yawn to cool down the brain when blood clots there.
A test with 135 college students who did the test below showed a distinct correlation between yawning and empathetic qualities. FIRST, try the test below!
Breathe in for as long as it takes to read this sentence.
Hold till you read this sentence.
Breathe out for as long as it takes to read this sentence.
(Repeat eight times or more.)
If you yawned, it is a GOOD thing. It shows you are feeling empathy and bonding. When you see someone else yawn and these certain facial movements, it stimulates a part of the brain called the supra-marginal gyrus which is located in the cerebral cortex. If your empathetic qualities are sensitive and strong, you are more likely to yawn. I just yawned AGAIN.
So now you know more about yawning and its theories, I hope you can understand this strange action the body forces you to do. And, to finish, I just yawned!
Did you yawn while you read this?
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