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Friday, April 25, 2014

Contagious yawning decreases with age, study suggests

Contagious yawning

While spontaneous yawning begins while still in the womb, contagious yawning doesn't
start until early childhood (Alliance/shutterstock.com)

The idea that yawning is contagious is nothing new, however researchers from Duke University are now finding out more about the phenomenon as they observed that contagious yawning decreases with age.

The researchers recorded the number of times 328 healthy individuals yawned while watching a three-minute video. The number of yawns per person ranged from zero to 15, with some participants more susceptible to contagious yawns. A total of 222 participants contagiously yawned at least one time. "Contagious yawns" are defined as when someone is "thinking, seeing or hearing about yawning." Spontaneous yawning is believed to be due to boredom or feeling tired. While spontaneous yawning begins while still in the womb, contagious yawning doesn't start until early childhood. (...)

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