10:43 31-10-2014
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
10:48 EDB, Kyzylorda region sign memorandum of cooperation10:39 Abu Dhabi Fund for Development interested in energy projects in Kyrgyzstan10:24 Mayor of Kazakhstan's Kokshetau has died of heart attack10:16 Jalal Abad region governor visits villages bordering with Uzbekistan10:13 Kazakhstan's EDB to provide $11mln to finance polymetallic ores production in Armenia10:13 Kyrgyzstan opens Consulate General in Guangzhou10:03 Kyrgyzstan can export up to 50,000 tons of meat to Russia annually10:00 This is Halloween, Pumpkins scream in the dead of night09:59 Nazarbayev meets with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi09:45 'Together in Eurasian Economic Union we are to boost our economies', says Atambayev09:33 Foreign Ministers of Kyrgyzstan, China discuss bilateral and multilateral cooperation09:32 US, Aga Khan Development Network agree to establish alliance for social, economic development of Tajikistan09:23 Kazakhstan might host next World Nomad Games – Atambayev09:12 Rosneft acquires Bishkek Oil Company for $39 million08:50 Korean investors offered to open a bank in Kyrgyzstan08:27 President Atambayev gives interview to Kazakh media on eve of his state visit to Kazakhstan20:06 International donors pledge $3 billion for Aral Sea saving19:50 New electricity tariffs to become effective since January 2015 upon approval by general public – First Vice PM19:36 Small hydropower not developing in Kyrgyzstan due to long period of return of investments - Minister19:25 Power outage schedules to be approved by November, Kyrgyz government working on electricity import to avoid blackouts – Minister
Astana
+2° C
Ashgabat
+15° C
Bishkek
+8° C
Dushanbe
+17° C
Tashkent
+13° C
exchange rates
 
72.11
57.35
9.20
1.32
227.08
180.87
29.58
4.17
6.27
5.00
0.82
0.12
3084.28
2367.40
385.74
61.13
3.59
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