Published in the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, the study is said to have involved 160 people from Tucson and another 80 from Arizona in both the seasons.
I Observe and I Am Curious...
Since I was young, I have been watching,noticing and wondering why people yawn. I have noticed that people yawn together. When someone yawns, others around them often yawn as well. It is as though they are mimicking each other.
I am curious about the connection between "yawning to regulate temperature" and "people yawning together" - either as a mimicking response or as a possible overload response.
In the case of overload ... Angelika Dimoka, a neuroscientist from Temple University Fox School of Business has been studying overload and decision-making.
If we use this new information about cognitive overload, we can see that our whole brain state shifts when we are called upon to deal with and comprehend complex subjects. Overload causes us to shut down the parts of the brain needed to think.
Yawning may help restore a state of equilibrium. Breathing may slow our heart rate and enable us to get into a higher state of coherence. When we yawn, it's possible we are calling upon our ability to restore a state of clarity, openness and receptivity. (http://topnews.us/content/243535-yawning-regulates-brain-temperature)
In the Case of Mimicking...Is Yawning Contagious?
While yawning is often associated with being tired and
needing more oxygen in the bloodstream, people yawn for many reasons including stress, boredom, emotion and over-work.
When one person yawns it appears to cause another person to yawn. Researchers have found that 40-60% of people who see a picture of someone yawning will yawn themselves. Even reading the word YAWN can make people yawn.
Maybe a yawn is a signal to the group that it's time to go to sleep. Or, if someone yawns when they're bored, it may be a sign to change the topic of conversation.
What we do know is that yawning helps replenish the levels of oxygen in the blood, and may help regulate our body temperature. The same chemicals in our brain that affect our moods and emotions also cause us to yawn.
Ancient Greeks started the ritual of covering your mouth when you yawn so that your soul does not escape!
Notice when people yawn ... what is going on in the conversation? What might trigger the need for more oxygen? Why might a deep breath be needed? Why is this conversation having such an impact at the deep visceral level?
Maybe there are times we need to breathe new life into a situation, a conversation or relationship. Think about it...notice it...reflect on it...and talk about it with others...it's a phenomenon of nature.
Want to learn more about contageous yawning? Check out this cool video from Discovery Channel's MythBusters: http://www.yourdiscovery.com/video/mythbusters-top-10-is-yawning-contagious/?cc=US
Trust at the Moment of Contact
In my new book on trust, I talk about the most important social forces that are hardwired into our DNA and drive our 'humanity.' Whether we were around three thousand years ago, or we are living today, these forces guide our interactions with each other. We are still struggling to figure it out, to work it through, and to find ways to emerge more whole and more humanized as a global community. Check out three sample chapters here: www.benchmarkcommunicationsinc.com/cms/node/36
Getting to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of relationships, which depend on the quality of conversations.
Everything happens through conversation!