New York, Sep 1: Have you ever wondered if you observe another person yawn, you also start to yawn.
It means yawning is contagious because the human propensity triggered automatically by primitive reflexes in a brain area responsible for motor function, a research suggests.
According to researchers, it is a common form of echophenomena – the automatic imitation of another’s words (echolalia) or actions (echopraxia).
And if we try to control yawn it will automatically increases. And no matter how hard we try to stifle a yawn, it might change the way of yawn but it won’t alter our propensity to yawn.
“This research has shown that the ‘urge’ is increased by trying to stop yourself. Using electrical stimulation we were able to increase excitability and in doing so increase the propensity for contagious yawning,” said Georgina Jackson, a Professor at the University of Nottingham.
“The findings may be important in understanding association between motor excitability and the occurrence of echophenomena in a wide range of conditions linked to increased cortical excitability and/or decreased physiological inhibition such as epilepsy, dementia, autism, and Tourette syndrome,” added Stephen Jackson, a Professor at the varsity.
For the study, the team instructed the volunteers to watch video clips and then either resist yawning or to allow themselves to yawn by using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
“If we can understand how alterations in cortical excitability give rise to neural disorders we can potentially reverse them. We are looking for potential non-drug, personalised treatments, using TMS that might be affective in modulating imbalances in the brain networks,” Jackson said.
It is found in chimpanzees and dogs as we.