Why we yawn and why it’s contagious

Just thinking about it makes me yawn — because it’s contagious, not because it’s boring.

On the many mysteries of yawning

What’s behind a yawn, why does it occur?

Why do we stretch?

We all do it.

Trying to resist a yawn makes you more likely to yawn — because your motor cortex is wired that way

It’s ridiculous how many times I’ve yawned writing this.

Yawning is contagious, unless you’re a psychopath

When someone yawns near us, we naturally feel an irresistible urge to yawn in response. Even dogs seem to yawn when humans do it. This contagious behavior has fascinated psychologists and behaviorists for many years, and while there are many reasons scientists have proposed for why people yawn (it’s a bit complicated, what we know for sure is that’s important and actually has a purpose), social cohesion might play an important role. The more emphatic you are, the likelier it is you’ll yawn in response. On the contrary, psychopaths barely register yawns and seem impenetrable.

Yawning not contagious for autistic children due to inattention to social cues – not lack of empathy

Boredom, tiredness, stress – they can all lead to a big healthy yawn; but even when none of those are present, just witnessing someone yawn can be really contagious – and this is not just restricted to humans. Dogs yawn in response to human yawns, and chimpanzees and baboons yawn in response to each other. But autistic children don’t respond

Fetuses get bored too: research shows they yawn in their mothers’ womb

Previous research has shown that babies still in their mothers’ wombs regularly stretch, swallow and even hiccup. Recent observations have found another item to add on the list – yawning. The doctors involved in the research that identified yawning in fetuses believe this could serve as a new indicator for assessing an unborn baby’s health index. I was just kidding