Popular belief says that we yawn when we are sleepy, hungry, or bored. When someone yawns in habitual that next people around you catch that yawn. This action is one of the most unknown by science, who has tried to find the reasons why we yawn.
Some research assures that we yawn to cool our brains. When we yawn we introduce cold air at once that cools the blood that passes through our nasal and oropharyngeal cavity, thus cooling the brain. It could be said that yawning is the ventilation system of our “central processor” that is to say, of our brain.
Another study maintains that yawning occurs when there is a lack of oxygen in the blood. The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus detects this lack and a large amount of air is introduced with yawning which re-levels those parameters.
There are also some theories that connect yawning with a sexual function and specifically with the erection of men. Other studies argue that yawning is about a primitive communication system and others that it is a reflection that we keep from the times when we were in the womb. A final explanation could be that yawning occurs to reduce anxiety and increase attention.
Why is yawning so contagious?
In statements to ‘Damn.es’ Andrew C. Gallup, assistant professor of psychology at the Polytechnic Institute of the State University of New York, says that “Yawning is influenced by circadian patterns”, that is, by the cycles that indicate to our body when it is day and when it is night. But this teacher says that there is no conclusive theory about the contagion of yawning.
Some studies, says the professor, indicate that yawning is a way of communicating the internal state of oneself. Other works assure that it is a action to promote group vigilance and synchronize group behavior. And there is another “inconsistent and inconclusive” investigation that suggests that There is a relationship between empathy and susceptibility to yawning in a contagious way.
“Yawning, or at least similar jaw opening patterns, have been observed in all classes of vertebrates. It is likely that lHumans and nonhuman animals yawn for similar reasons “ explains Professor Gallup, who explains that there is evidence of the contagion of yawns in other animals such as chimpanzees, rats or parakeets.