15:22 31-07-2014
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
15:21 Gaza: deadly shelling of another UN school draws condemnation, calls for ceasefire15:01 Kazakhmys unveils Q2 2014 production results14:42 Tajik President says SCO should have coordinated position in facing modern threats14:31 Foreign Ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan discuss state and prospects of cooperation13:57 KazAgro grants $550-mln loan to agricultural companies13:19 Chairman of International Organization for Standardization to arrive in Kazakhstan in August13:09 Fitch affirms four state-owned Uzbek banks at ‘B-’; outlook stable12:56 SCO has great potential for development of cooperation: Tajik FM12:48 Ministry of Public Security of China hands over equipment, supplies to State Border Service of Kyrgyzstan12:45 Former Managing Director of Kazatomprom to face trials over 1.3-bln fraud12:34 US negotiating new military base in Uzbekistan: media12:28 SCO Foreign Ministers approve draft Strategy on SCO Development until 202512:14 Qatar interested in import of Kyrgyz sheep12:09 China eases internal passport system in urbanization push12:02 Cell phone smuggler stopped on Kazakh-China border11:54 Kazakhstani refineries process 7.2 million tons of oil in H1 201411:41 Sanctions imposed on Russia not to affect oil industry of Kazakhstan: Minister11:37 Man donates mini-bus to Bishkek ambulance station after learning about problems with shortage of vans11:24 Kyrgyz Agriculture Ministry offers South Korea to import beans from Kyrgyzstan11:02 25 dead, 160 missing after landslide creates havoc in Pune village
Astana
+19° C
Ashgabat
+32° C
Bishkek
+25° C
Dushanbe
+27° C
Tashkent
+31° C
exchange rates
 
69.35
51.75
8.37
1.45
245.93
183.53
29.74
5.14
6.61
4.96
0.80
0.14
3161.09
2332.24
377.32
65.98
3.83
2.85
0.46
0.08

© 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