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Scientists aren't sure why people yawn

Eddie Breven (contributor), 02/24/2019

Though scientists may have theories about the following phenomena, no one can say for certain why they occur.  

Yawning is something you likely do every day, but, oddly enough, scientists still aren't sure why.

Recently, the scientific community has moved toward the idea that yawning is a thermoregulatory behaviour that cools down the brain, but its true biological function is still unclear.

What's more, scientists aren't entirely sure why it's contagious among social animals, such as humans. A 2005 study published in Cognitive Brain Research found that the networks in your brain responsible for empathy and social skills are activated when you see someone yawn. Researchers have also observed that chimpanzees can "catch" yawns from humans.

"Copying the facial expressions of others helps us to adopt and understand their current state," said Matthew Campbell of Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University.

This is why, according to one study, psychopaths aren't as susceptible to contagious yawning.

Scientists aren't sure why people yawn

 
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