Most people have seen examples of Contagious Yawning in humans. If one person in a group yawns (or convincingly feigns a yawn) it's often quite hard for others to resist. Current estimates are that 40-60% of human yawns are 'contagious'.
Contagious yawing has also been observed and scientifically documented in many other animals including :
Contagious Yawning can also happen between species. A team at Birkbeck College, University of London, recently performed the first formal research to document Trans Species Yawn Contagion. [ man > dog ] ( Ref. Biology Letters Volume 4 Issue 5.)
Another recent study, from the Department of Psychology, Hiram College, US, can be found in Animal Cogntion 12(6):833-837.
There are theories regarding the possible evolutionary advantages to yawn contagion, for example, that contagious yawning may be part of a neural mechanism involved in empathy. ( Ref. Cognitive Brain Research Volume 23, Issues 2–3 )
But a full explanation is currently lacking.
Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for old ones, are always welcome.
If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !
Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.
( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)
You are currently viewing an auto-translated version of Wikenigma
Please be aware that no automatic translation engines are 100% accurate, and so the auto-translated content will very probably feature errors and omissions.
Nevertheless, Wikenigma hopes that the translated content will help to attract a wider global audience.