Why is yawning contagious?

Because I’m a moeslem, so I have to say salam first….

Assalamu’aikum warrahmatullohi wabarrokatuh….

Peace be upon for you all.. 🙂

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve gone (?). Haha forget it.  Okay, I wanna share something from ed.ted.com again. Again? well yeah because I like to watch their videos. Besides their videos is good to increase our knowledge, their animation is cute or interesting too.

And today, I’d like to share something smell science. I hope you’re not  getting bored because of my post. Okay don’t want say this bullshit so much just check it out. 😀


Emm… Excuse me! Have you ever yawn because somebody else yawn? You’re in especially tired yet suddenly your mouth open and aaa HHHOOAAMMMM !

big yawn

Big yawn comes out. This phenomenon is known as CONTAGIOUS YAWNING. And most scientist still didn’t fully understand why it is happened. There are many hypothesis currently being research.

Let’s take a look at few of the most problem at one. Beginning with 2 Physical hypothesis before we are moving to Psychology one.


1. Physiological hypothesis is Fixed Action Pattern. This is a sequence of behavioral acts triggered by a ‘releasing’ stimulus that is unchangeable and usually carried to completion once initiated.

Think of this, let’s reflect, your yawn makes me yawn. One person yawn triggered one person near by yawn observe in act. Have you ever try to stop yawn once it has begun. Basically impossible!

2. Non-conscious mimicry.

‘The Chameleon Effect’ occurs when you imitate someone’s behavior without knowing it, a subtle and unintentional copycat maneuver. People attend to mimic others gestures. If you see someone else has their leg-cross, you might cross your own leg. This hypothesis suggest that we yawn when we see someone else yawn. Because unconscious copying their behavior. Scientist believe that chameleon effect is possible because special sets of neuron as mirror neuron.

Mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when a person performs an action and when the person observes the same action performed by another person. This neuron is important for learning also for learners. For example, watching someone do something physical like putting on lipstick , can help you do the same action more accurately. Neuron imaging studies using fMRI show that when we see someone yawn or even hear their yawn a specific area of the brain housing this mirror neuron attends to light up, which in turn causes to response to  the same action.

A yawn are psychological hypothesis also impulse the work of this mirror neurons. We would call it that empathy yawn. This is the ability to understand what someone else is feeling and partake in their emotion.

Recently neuron’s scientist found that sub-set of mirror neuron allows us to emphasize with others feelings at the deeper level. Scientist discovery this emphatic response the yawning what testing the first hypothesis remaintion fix action pattern. The study was set up the show that dog would in act the yawn reflects of the mirror sounds of the human yawn. This study shows this in true. They found something else interesting. Dogs yawn more frequently act the most yawn, such as from their owner, or another yawn from strangers.

Following this research others study of human, have also shown that contagious yawning occurs more frequently among friends than a strangers. In fact, contagious yawning starts occuring when we’re about 4 or 5 years old. At the point when children develop the ability to identify others emotion properly. Still, when neuron scientific study’s approve that contagious yawning is based on the capacity for empathy more researches needed to show.

What’s exactly going on? It’s possible that the answer in another hypothesis altogether. The next time you get caught in yawn, take a second to think about what just it happen?

Were you thinking about the yawn?

Did someone near you yawn ?

Was that the persons were strangers or someone close?

Annnnnnnnnddddddddd…………. are you yawning right now?


Source : ed.ted.com why is yawning contagious? by Claudia Aguirre



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s