Discussion in 'Human Science' started by sargentlard, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    I can read, thank you.

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    But fetuses still get their oxygen from blood.
    The reflex is there, the environment is not yet.
    Because the brain is still less active than when fully woken up and it needs a kick.
    (the reaction is slow, awarness of surroundings less than good)
    When we wake up there's a whole new heap of external stimuli for the brain to analyse, much more than when we were asleep, therefore it suddenly needs more oxygen.
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  3. DarkEyedBeauty Pirate. Registered Senior Member


    His main argument is what I had put in my original post.

    "I was just reading an article the other day about scientists who were exploring the possibility that some yawns are contagious because they are done at a time when there is a mutual feeling between people, whether it be bonding via finding common ground or sympathizing with people.

    Sounds weird, right? But I actually had been experiencing this. When I would meet someone new, the first time that we really clicked or "got" each other...I would yawn...and it wasn't a tired yawn, but a sort of excited kind of good feeling yawn. I believe yawns release endorphins as well.

    At any rate, in the article they said that possibly yawns are "contageous" in this manner because they were used, long long ago in our prehistoric days, to convey the mutual feeling of "bedtime" and "time to wake up" when we couldn't speak. Almost...an alarm clock ( is what they said).

    Anyway...sounds plausible as I have my own experiences."
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  5. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    could be, could be,
    but as these theories don't exclude each other, I think it's possible that they both are correct.
    note that your theory doesn't account for the times when people or other animals are alone
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  7. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Sure they do. Well. I haven't read Everneo's links, but the most commonly accepted idea is what I've been talking about. Call behavior.

    There is no consensus. I've looked here and there and I see that while it would seem the majority now believe the oxygen idea to be unproven and possibly disproven, there still seem to be a few sticking to the story and not letting go.

    The battle is hardly over.

    Another link: http://www.uc.edu/news/ebriefs/yawn.htm
    Dr. George A. Bubenik, M.D., of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada:
    Yawning serves to increase respiration when levels of oxygen are too low and to improve oxygen supplies to the brain. "When I went hiking in the Andes and was above 4,000 meters, I yawned more. Similarly, exhaustive exercise is likely to cause you to yawn more." Dr. Bubenik also theorizes that men probably yawn more than women because of their large muscle mass...which would require more oxygen.</blockquote>
    Of course, that sounds somewhat anecdotal and unscientific if you ask me. But perhaps there is more evidence that Bubenik has to back up his claims?

    Anyway. From that same sight. Something that plays back to the post I made earlier about the chimp trying to suppress his food discovery response with his hand:
    Walter Smitson, professor of psychiatry and director of the Central Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati Medical Center:

    Because a yawn can express these powerful, anti-social messages, people try to mute or mask them by placing a concealing hand over a yawn. Smitson finds that, in his experience, men tend to yawn more than women. He theorizes that this is so because women are generally more socially aware and adept than are men.
    Contact: 513-558-9015</blockquote>
    There seems to be a dichotomy in even the basic conceptions of this behavior. Hypoxia, social stimulus, social or anti-social, etc...
    I even saw a link while looking the other day on the yawn being sexy.

    Anyway. Here's Provine's research page. This would seem to be the relevant paper:
    1987: Yawning: No effect of 3-5% CO2, 100% O2, and exercise. R. R. Provine, B. C. Tate, and L. L. Geldmacher. Behavioral and Neural Biology, 48, 382-392.
    I don't have access to that journal.
    His career seems dedicated more towards laughter which shows his bias towards call type behavior, but he does have several papers on yawning.


    People are never alone. Always the specter of social heritage walks beside us. This is why reading about yawns also stimulates the response.
  8. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    I suspect yawning is a vestigial reflex. I've read speculation that developing fetuses open up passages and whatnot with these spasms. The hypoxia idea doesn't make any sense to me, because we have other reflexes (breath rate etc) to regulate that. I think the Yawn is like our tailbones- Still there, but not really useful anymore. At least it's benign, unlike some of our more violent primitive urges.

    The instant behavioral contagiousness of yawns is curious, and I'd like to know more about that.
  9. DarkEyedBeauty Pirate. Registered Senior Member

    Oh, sure. They absolutely don't negate each other.

    I would think, however, that still yawning when alone is usually done when tired or bored, and it can still be a community reflex regardless of the lack of other individuals.

    Maybe the problem is that it isn't biological so much as it is an innate reflex that had been bred into us for those communication purposes.
  10. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

  11. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    "Synchronizing sleep patterns/ periods of activity" in your Wiki link sounds plausible as a purpose for this community reflex.
  12. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    But doesn't explain everything.

    For instance, why do Olympic runners yawn before running? They're sure as hell not tired.

    It's bound to be a quite complicated behavior. And double so considering that it remains a fully unconscious means of communication as opposed to laughter which serves overt and well-known purposes in society.

    Although. Even laughter has issues. In Stanley Milgrams Obedience to Authority experiments, for example. Many of the subjects laughed as they 'tortured' their victims.
  13. Rick Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, its to compensate for the low oxygen, therefore a forceful inhalation is done through mouth (although this is unhealthy,since we inhale without filters). But has it ever happened to you guys that you saw someone yawning and then you do it too? i mean its weird but happens to me quite a lot...
  14. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Just curious. Do people ever actually read the thread? Everybody keeps popping in with this hypoxia thing but it's been shown (or at least called into question) that this is not a valid answer.

    The most likely scenario is a call type behavior that synchronizes group activity between shifts of periods of low activity and high activity.
  15. Rick Valued Senior Member

    You mean the whole thread... gee...no sorry...

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  16. DarkEyedBeauty Pirate. Registered Senior Member

    Ooooh...invert. I believe that my answer was the same as yours. Don't know if you noticed...by reading the thread...or you were agreeing without notation.
  17. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Well. I was the first, I believe, to equate yawning with call behavior (in this thread). But, yes, it was you who first mentioned the synchronizing of group members between shifting periods of activity. So, I was agreeing with you. I was giving Zion a synopisis of the prevailing thought.

    However, I believe that the yawn is more complicated than just that. But is most likely the most common usage.

    And. Yeah. I did read the thread, thank you very much. That's what it's here for.
    I hope you did as well.
  18. DarkEyedBeauty Pirate. Registered Senior Member

    Aww...just some friendly questions. Of course I read it, whats the point of posting otherwise.
  19. RubiksMaster Real eyes realize real lies Registered Senior Member

    For those of you who still think yawning is for taking in oxygen:
    When I am just sitting, breathing slowly, every few minutes I notice that I take a really deep breath. No yawn required. Plus, why would someone need to open their jaw that wide (sometimes to the point of dislocation) just to take a breath? Yawning while exhaling is also possible. It seems to have the exact same effect as yawning while inhaling.

    If it is some vestigeal behavior from long ago, I wonder when it first showed up. Since it is a common behavior of many different species, did they all start yawning at roughly the same time? Or did they start as soon as their mouths evolved?

    It's all very fascinating and mysterious.

    I really have no idea why we do it. Or why so many animals do it.
  20. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

  21. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

    Seems like my stupid question wasn't so stupid afterall.
  22. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Why don't scientists plug a whole bunch of wires on someone's head, induce yawning and find out which areas of the brain the yawning affect?

    Wait, let me guess. There's no money to be gained from it, right?

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  23. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member


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