Yawning Is Contagious
Health Tips – Without realizing it often when seeing another person yawn we will yawn too. Because yawning is contagious.
Yawning is a reflex action that happens to everybody, it is usually done to draw air in large quantities and is followed by breathing.
This reflex action is often associated with stress, fatigue, too much work, boredom and sleepiness. Yawning also can occur when there is excess carbon dioxide or a shortage of oxygen in the bloodstream.
Recent studies show that a yawn is not only a sign of someone wanting to sleep. But the purpose is to cool the brain so it can operate more efficient and makes a person stay awake.
But why is yawn contagious?
“We think the cause of yawning is contagious because it is triggered by empathic mechanisms which function to maintain group vigilance. So yawning is a sign of empathy,” said researcher Dr Gordon Gallup, as quoted from the BBC News, Thursday (8/4/2010).
Another cause of contagious yawning is because the mirror neurons system is active, which is neurons located in the front of each brain hemisphere of certain vertebrates.
Upon receiving the stimulus of the same species, then species will also activate the same region in the brain. This is what causes a person to yawn if they see others yawning.
This mirror nervous system acts as a driver to emulate and are responsible for human learning. Therefore yawning is often seen as a branch of the same imitation impulse (movement) .
If the center of the mirror neuron system is not active when viewing someone yawn, then this will not have a relationship with the desire to respond to evaporate.
The stronger a person wants to yawn, the stronger the activation of the brain left periamygdala . These findings are the first signs that reveal neurofisiologis that yawning can be contagious.
Periamygdalar regional zone is located next to the amygdala and the shape structure is like an almond located deep within the brain.
Activation of some chemicals found in the brain, for example, serotonin, dopamine, glutamine, glutamic acid and nitric oxide, can also increase the frequency of yawning. While several other chemicals such as endorphins can actually reduce the frequency of yawning.
Several studies have shown the benefits of a yawn is the ability to stabilize pressure on either side of the eardrum or similar to a stretch, it could also flex your muscles and joints and increase blood pressure and heart rate.