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Yawn.. its good for you! (Science behind yawning)

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posted on Aug, 3 2012 @ 07:06 PM
Yawn.. no seriously, yawn, its good for you!!

Several recent brain-scan studies have
shown that yawning evokes a unique
neural activity in the areas of the brain
that are directly involved in generating
social awareness and creating feelings of
empathy. One of those areas is the
precuneus, a tiny structure hidden
within the folds of the parietal lobe.
According to researchers at the Institute
of Neurology in London, the precuneus
appears to play a central role in
consciousness, self-reflection, and
memory retrieval. The precuneus is also
stimulated by yogic breathing, which
helps explain why different forms of
meditation contribute to an increased
sense of self-awareness. It is also one of
the areas hardest hit by age-related
diseases and attention deficit problems,
so it’s possible that deliberate yawning
may actually strengthen this important
part of the brain.

Very interesting.. please excuse me while I yawn, don't take offence, I'm just yawning so that I can understand you, and myself better

But yawning doesn’t just relax you—it quickly brings you into a heightened
state of cognitive awareness. Students
yawn in class, not because the teacher is
boring (although that will make you
yawn as well, as you try to stay focused
on the monotonous speech), but because
it rids the brain of sleepiness, thus
helping you stay focused on important
concepts and ideas. It regulates
consciousness and our sense of self, and
helps us become more introspective and
self-aware. Of course, if you happen to
find yourself trapped in a room with a
dull, boring, monotonous teacher,
yawning will help keep you awake.

Yawning will relax you and bring you
into a state of alertness faster than any
other meditation technique I know of,
and because it is neurologically
contagious, it’s particularly easy to teach
in a group setting. One of my former
students used yawning to bring her
argumentative board of directors back to
order in less than 60 seconds. Why?
Because it helps people synchronize their
behavior with others.

Who knew? Apparently yawning on purpose, regularly, can dramatically increase the quality of your life both in the long term and short term!

So what is the underlying mechanism that makes yawning such an essential tool?
Besides activating the precuneus, it
regulates the temperature and
metabolism of your brain. It takes a lot of
neural energy to stay consciously alert,
and as you work your way up the
evolutionary ladder, brains become less
energy efficient. Yawning probably
evolved as a way to cool down the overly
active mammalian brain, especially in the
areas of the frontal lobe. Some have even
argued that it is a primitive form of
empathy. Most vertebrates yawn, but it is
only contagious among humans, great
apes, macaque monkeys, and
chimpanzees. In fact, it’s so contagious
for humans that even reading about it
will cause a person to yawn.

The human body/brain never ceases to amaze me!!
The full article, which is well worth a read, is here.

Even with the current wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips we still do not fully understand the human brain. Imagine what we will discover over the next few decades?!

edit on 26/10/2010 by TechUnique because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 3 2012 @ 07:40 PM
Great thread, i'm gonna start yawning as much as i can everyday!
thanks op for the awesome information.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 09:06 AM
Thanks OP , I yawned 3 times just reading your post.

It is contagious. My Kids will now be using what you posted as evidence for when they yawn in class to get out of detentions. Good info. Thanks again

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