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Copy of Science Fair Project: Yawning

the most fascinating study on humans and their yawns
by

Humbeto Lopez

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Science Fair Project: Yawning

Why is Yawning contagious?
A Presentation By : Ahmed Eid, Toni Rose Tablante, and Tunisia Kenyatta
What is yawning?
Yawning is a reflex of inhalation and exhalation that draws more oxygen into the bloodstream.
When you yawn, you simultaneously inhale and stretch the eardrums.
Why do we yawn?
Yawning is an involuntary action that humans begin before birth. Most creatures yawn.
Humans yawn for various reasons.
The deep breath helps restore oxygen levels in the blood.
The yawn also helps to regulate the body's temperature.
We yawn to cool the brain so it operates more efficiently and keeps us awake.
Contagious Yawning
Contagious yawning is a mystery yet to be solved.
There are some theories that date back to our animal insticts saying that contagious yawning could be an unconscious herding behavior.
Scientists believe early humans communicated their alertness levels and co-ordinated sleeping times through yawning.
But there is, of course, a more scientific explanation.
It was first believed that the mirror neuron system was to blame.
This system of the brain enables humans to imitate the actions of others.
But a recent study shows that a contagious yawn is generally an unconscious urge to yawn.
They found that the contagious yawn was actually part of the periamygdala section of the brain.
This section is the part that helps us interpret such things as facial expressions.
It has been confirmed that 40-60% of people will yawn automatically after seeing another person yawn.
In order to receive a real-life perspective on the contagiousness of yawning, we conducted our own experiment. We shared a video, which consisted of a group of men yawning, with our friends and family members.
As shown here, 47% of our subjects didn’t yawn, but 53% did. As one can see, yawning is contagious.
However, our results could've been affected by the video itself. Our subjects watched the video through a computer screen instead of experiencing it in a real life.
Did You Yawn?
In Conclusion ...
It is safe to say that we were able to successfully note and prove that yawning is contagious.
We have found that the periamygdala section of the brain is the culprit for contagious yawning.
Our experiement continued to further prove our point.
How many times did you yawn through this?
Full transcript