It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Yawning, The Misunderstood Reflex.

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 11:17 AM
link   
If this is the wrong forum for this mod's feel free to move it.

OK, I know exactly what your thinking, you yawn when you're tired and thats all there is to it! Wrong. I'm about to give a breif insight into a misunderstood reflex, and why we still ain't sure what it's all really about.




encarta.msn.com...
First, I must dispel a myth. We do not yawn to feed our brains more oxygen. While it's true that we yawn more when we're tired and bored, there are plenty of times we yawn when neither is true. Provine has found, for example, that Olympic athletes yawn before their events. So, he theorizes that yawns help our bodies change states (from inactivity to activity, from alertness to boredom).



So that debunks the whole you only yawn because your tired misconception. Now onto the more intresting part. Why is it contagious!



www.world-science.net...
So what gives? In an effort to find the answer, the Finnish government recently funded a brain scanning study. The results turned up some hard-to-interpret, possible clues. It also confirmed the obvious: yawn contagion is largely unconscious. Wherever it might affect the brain, it bypasses the known brain circuitry for consciously analyzing and mimicking other people’s actions.






www.islandnet.com...
No one really knows why yawning is "contagious". Or why we yawn at all. One popular explanation is that yawning allows you to get rid of too much carbon dioxide in your system and increase your oxygen supply. This was disproved by Dr. Robert Provine and his research team in 1987.

Now scientists are wondering if yawning is from our deep past -- part of our evolutionary history. Did a yawn signal to the group that it was time for everyone to retire to the trees and snooze? Did a yawn signal that we were all feeling cozy and warm about each other? Did a yawn signal something more like, "Gee, I know how you're feeling, I feel that way too."



What made this intresting and something worth posting about is possible theorys of why it is contagious. The reason I think it is contagious is because it is a way of synchronizing our state of mind with the social group we are part of. Think of it like a subconscious alarm clock telling you and the rest of your group it's time to do something.

I really hope this all made sense guy's and gal's. Not really one for posting, just felt like debunking a myth here.

Peace.


mod edit:
Quote Reference (review link)
Posting work written by others. **ALL MEMBERS READ** (review link)

[edit on 25-8-2006 by UK Wizard]

[edit on 25-8-2006 by R1ghteous]




posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 11:29 AM
link   
Yeah that was interesting. I yawned just reading this!

What does it all mean Basil!?



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 11:30 AM
link   
Exactly! that's what made me post, its just something you don't think about. Reading about yawning even enduces you to yawn. Weird.



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 12:59 PM
link   
Interesting post: thanks :-)

I know someone who's noticed she yawns when she's nervous; prior to an exam or interview, for example. Which may fit in with the theory re: yawning signifying altered states.

People DO seem to yawn when they're tired however, have you noticed? Even babies yawn, nod off for a few seconds, yawn again, etc. As do visitors, for example, when they want to leave and go home to bed, but are too polite to say so.

Yawning's also used as a form of non-verbal communication intended to convey, for example: ' I'm unmoved by your attempts to manipulate my emotions' and
' I'm so unafraid/unintimidated by you that I yawn in your face ' ... or, in short: 'I am tuning you out/neutering you/expressing my contempt, with this yawn '.

So it seems that yawning may be both voluntary and involuntary.

It's said that the act of smiling stimulates specific nerves in the region of the temple, which in turn cause 'feel good' chemicals to be released.

Perhaps yawning acts in a similar way, only in this instance, causes 'wake up/snap out of it/get prepared' chemicals to be released ?

As to the 'contagious' element of yawns, perhaps this is similar to many other spontaneously shared human acts, such as laughing and smiling; the folklorish shorthand being: 'Smile and the world smiles with you' ?

It's extremely easy to trigger a yawn, simply by opening the mouth wide and intending to yawn. When you do this, you definitely feel 'things happening' , particularly 'inside' the ear ... and deep inside the cranium, between the ears. And you feel mentally refreshed. So perhaps yawning is a 'muscular tuning up' of the brain? Perhaps it forces fresh blood or chemicals to the brain?

Possibly, when the mind concentrates on something for a length of time, it stalls/slows down other areas of the brain from getting on effectively with its continuous work? In other words, yawning may be an essential 'kick start' mechanism for the brain, amongst other things?

If this is in any way correct and if yawning does trigger preparation for or immediate altered mental states, then it's possible that we instinctively follow the leader. If we're with someone who yawns, we may unconsciously appreciate that person is 'switching modes' and follow suit by also yawning -- either simply because we're social animals, or the reverse: because we're highly competitive and don't wish the other person to have the mental & other advantage.

Anyway, thank you for bringing this issue to attention. Extremely interesting and it's immediate effect has been to cause me to experiment with yawning as I post (with immediate beneficial results) which in turn has made me realise I don't yawn anywhere near as often as I used to, which I intend to rectify by means of a note stuck to the desk, saying simply: ' YAWN NOW ! '.



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 01:40 PM
link   
Thanks for the reply Dock6, you made some intresting points. until I was looking into the subject I didn't know that a fetus will also yawn at around 20 weeks.




serendip.brynmawr.edu...
The interesting contrast to the low-oxygen theory is that some observations have been made that suggest that fetuses in the womb yawn. Doctors have observed fetal yawning in utero at twenty weeks gestation and noted a 'fetal yawning movement' (7). Mouths opened widely resembling a yawn with qualities quite different from those of a brief moment of swallowing and the mouth remained open for around two minutes (7). These observations do not support the oxygen theory because fetuses in utero do not yet have ventilated lungs (8). Other doctors have responded to these observations in the New England Journal of Medicine saying that, "there is too much of a range of variation in the observations and that there is a discrepancy in the use of the anatomical criterion of retraction of the tongue to characterize the fetal yawn, whereas in yawning adults, the tongue is extended" (7).



I like your 'kick-start' theory, Which further reinforces the 'change in the state of mind'. Kinda like It's time to quit watching TV and get myself to work.

I knew smiling released chemicals in the brain, but I never knew it's because your temple was being stimulated. It's funny how we still don't really understand ourselves yet i think.


mod edit:
Quote Reference (review link)
Posting work written by others. **ALL MEMBERS READ** (review link)

[edit on 25-8-2006 by UK Wizard]

[edit on 25-8-2006 by R1ghteous]



posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 02:25 PM
link   
Thanks, R1ghteous. I used to know the name of the nerve stimulated by smiling, but losing brain cells like mad these days. Had a couple of attempts at spelling it in my post, but was too lazy to look it up (5 a.m here) and so settled for 'temple area'. The nerve may sound-something-like 'zigomatic - zygo-something', if you have the patience to search for it. I WAS going to take a punt on something-that-sounds-like 'vasog ' something or other ....... but I suspected that had something to do with orgasms, lol, so opted for the safer route :-)

But yes, it's fascinating ...... and great scientists are conducting the research and that people like you make the information available to others



new topics

top topics
 
0

log in

join