Web Desk: About half of the adults yawn after someone else yawns because of universal phenomenon ‘contagious yawning’. Studies have revealed that there is a connection between contagious yawning and empathy.
According to the researcher at The Duke Center for Human Genome Variable, contagious yawning may decrease as people age and may not be associated with empathy.
According to a researcher, “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.”
The research also found that the children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), were less likely to yawn contagiously than their typically developing peers.
Another study suggested that the human propensity for contagious yawning is triggered automatically by primitive reflexes in the primary motor cortex, brain area that is responsible for motor function.
Yawning occurs in humans and chimpanzees as a response to hearing, seeing and even thinking about yawning. While the spontaneous yawning occurs when someone is tired or bored. Spontaneous yawning is first observed in the womb, while contagious yawning doesn’t begin until early childhood.