Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Yawn if you empathize with this


By Aussiegirl

I came, I read, I yawned -- I'm obviously a compassionate conservative.

Researchers waking up to why we yawn - Science - Specials - smh.com.au

THINK about someone yawning. Jaws gape. Lips spread wide. Arms stretched. There's that quick inhale and the long aaaahhhhh.

Yawning is an ancient, primitive act. Humans do it even before they are born, opening wide in the womb. Some snakes unhinge their jaws to do it. One species of penguins yawns as part of mating.

Only now are researchers beginning to understand why we yawn, when we yawn and why we yawn back.

A professor of cognitive neuroscience at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Steven Platek, studies the act of contagious yawning, something done only by people and other primates.

In his first study, published in 2004, he used a psychological test to rank people on their empathic feelings.

He found that participants who did not score high on compassion did not yawn back.

4 Comments:

At 12:20 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

I must be a compassionate conservative, because now I cannot stop yawning.

Maybe I should save that picture of the yawning tiger, for those nights when I am unable to fall asleep. ;)

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous blackminorca said...

Mega Yawns, AussieGirl!

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Humour and last laugh said...

He came, he saw and he yawned!

 
At 10:57 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Stop it, you guys, now I can't stop yawning!

 

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