05:02 25-10-2014
MAIN Russian
About us On-line subscription
KazakhstanTajikistanUzbekistanKyrgyzstanTurkmenistanWorld
POLITICSBUSINESSINCIDENTSSOCIETYCULTURESPORTANALYSISSCIENCE
New study suggests contagious yawning is not linked to empathy

Bishkek (AKIpress) - woman-yawning-in-the-morning The mechanism behind contagious yawning remains one of life's great mysteries. Though previous studies have suggested a link to empathy, new research suggests this is not the case, rendering it still largely unexplained, Medical News Today reports.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by researchers from the Duke Center for Human Genome Variation in North Carolina. They say their findings show that contagious yawning may decrease with age, and that it is also not linked with tiredness or energy levels.

Contagious yawning occurs not only in humans, but also in chimpanzees and other animals, in response to hearing about, seeing or thinking about yawning.

In 2013, Medical News Today reported on a study in dogs, which suggested that the contagious yawns dogs get from their owners are a result of empathy rather than stress.

But Elizabeth Cirulli, author of the latest study and assistant professor at Duke University School of Medicine, says: "The lack of association in our study between contagious yawning and empathy suggests that contagious yawning is not simply a product of one's capacity for empathy."

Cirulli and colleagues say their study is the most comprehensive research to date looking at factors that influence contagious yawning.

They explain that this phenomenon differs from spontaneous yawning, in that it does not occur merely when someone is tired or bored. While spontaneous yawning is observed in the womb, contagious yawning begins in early childhood.

Individuals with autism or schizophrenia - which involve social skills that are impaired - exhibit less contagious yawning even though they still yawn spontaneously, explain the investigators.

Contrary to previous studies, the investigators say they did not find a strong connection between contagious yawning and empathy, intelligence or time of day. In fact, the only link was age; as age increased, the researchers say participants were less likely to yawn.

It seems the mystery around contagious yawning remains. But the researchers say because variability in contagious yawning is still unexplained, they are now investigating whether there are genetic influences that affect it.


Twitterfacebookprint
15:33 15.03.2014
LATEST NEWS
17:40 OSCE supports regional explosive ordnance disposal course for specialists from Central Asia, Afghanistan17:23 Kurmanjan Datka to be screened in Los Angeles17:18 Kyrgyz white hat brings Roy Jones Jr. luck in fight vs Hany Atiyo17:14 Electricity social tariff should be made socially-economic to meet growing electricity needs – First Vice PM16:52 China economy to grow 7.4 percent in 2014, 7 percent in 201516:52 Ex-Minister of Tajikistan, 14 others accused of major fraud, Emomali Rahmon's relatives among witnesses16:48 Environmentalists of Kyrgyzstan condemn bill allowing livestock grazing in natural reserves16:38 Kazakh oil output to rise with Kashagan after 2020 - official16:25 Electricity price remained unchanged in Kyrgyzstan for 15 years – First Vice PM16:19 Current water volume in Toktogul dam not enough for electricity generation15:59 Islam Karimov awards Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov with Independence Order15:53 Asian Para Games: Kazakhstan wins 24 medals ranking 11th15:45 President Atambayev signs order on opening of Embassy of Kyrgyzstan in Baku15:42 Two Afghan districts, bordering with Tajikistan, can move under control of Taliban15:41 Around 3,000 gas cylinders to be handed over to poor families of Osh region15:34 Kyrgyz Energy Ministry promises to keep current electricity tariffs until December 201415:30 Karaganda region to commission 6 new plants by end of 201415:25 Kyrgyzstan exceeds electricity consumption limits for 302 million kWh15:18 Sweden calls off search for submarine15:09 Kyrgyzstan generates 10.1 billion kWh of electricity for 9 months of 2014
Astana
-4° C
Ashgabat
+23° C
Bishkek
+19° C
Dushanbe
+19° C
Tashkent
+22° C
exchange rates
 
71.00
56.08
9.04
1.35
228.80
180.87
29.57
4.32
6.33
4.99
0.82
0.12
3084.28
2367.40
385.74
61.13
3.60
2.85
0.47
0.07

© AKIpress News Agency - 2001-2014
Use of the AKIpress.com materials must be accompanied by a hyperlink to www.akipress.com
Our address:
Moskovskaya str. 189, Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic
e-mail: english@akipress.org, akipressenglish@gmail.com;
Tel/Fax: +996(312)90-07-75