Navigation Links
Yawning to cool the brain
Date:5/6/2014

Common belief is that yawning helps to increase the oxygen supply. However, previous research has failed to show an association between yawning and blood oxygen levels. New research by a team of researchers led by Psychologist Andrew Gallup of SUNY College at Oneonta, USA now reveals that yawning cools the brain.

Sleep cycles, cortical arousal and stress are all associated with fluctuations in brain temperature, Yawning subsequently functions to keep the brain temperature balanced and in optimal homeostasis. According to this theory, yawning should also be easily manipulated by ambient temperature variation, since exchange with cool ambient air temperature may facilitate lowering brain temperature. Specifically, the researchers hypothesized that yawning should only occur within an optimal range of temperatures, i.e., a thermal window.

To test this, Jorg Massen and Kim Dusch of the University of Vienna measured contagious yawning frequencies of pedestrians outdoors in Vienna, Austria, during both the winter and summer months, and then compared these results to an identical study conducted earlier in arid climate of Arizona, USA. Pedestrians were asked to view a series of images of people yawning, and then they self-reported on their own yawning behavior.

Results showed that in Vienna people yawned more in summer than in winter, whereas in Arizona people yawned more in winter than in summer. It turned out that it was not the seasons themselves, nor the amount of daylight hours experienced, but that contagious yawning was constrained to an optimal thermal zone or range of ambient temperatures around 20o C. In contrast, contagious yawning diminished when temperatures were relatively high at around 37o C in the summer of Arizona or low and around freezing in the winter of Vienna. Lead author Jorg Massen explains that where yawning functions to cool the brain, yawning is not functional when ambient temperatures are as hot as the body, and may not be necessary or may even have harmful consequences when it is freezing outside.

While most research on contagious yawning emphasizes the influence of interpersonal and emotional-cognitive variables on its expression, this report adds to accumulating research suggesting that the underlying mechanism for yawning, both spontaneous and contagious forms, is involved in regulating brain temperature. In turn, the cooling of the brain functions to improve arousal and mental efficiency. The authors of this study suggest that the spreading of this behavior via contagious yawning could therefore function to enhance overall group vigilance.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jorg J.M. Massen, Ph.D.
jorg.massen@univie.ac.at
43-699-113-10182
University of Vienna
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Functioning of aged brains and muscles in mice made younger
2. Stem cells from teeth can make brain-like cells
3. Nanomerics, UCL, H Lundbeck & Exeter University to research new brain therapeutics
4. Biologists discover a key regulator in the pacemakers of our brain and heart
5. Quantitative volumetric analysis of the optic radiation in the normal human brain
6. Controlling brain waves to improve vision
7. Animals with bigger brains, broader diets have better self control
8. Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain
9. First brain images of African infants enable research into cognitive effects of nutrition
10. Eavesdropping on brain cell chatter
11. How kids brain structures grow as memory develops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Yawning to cool the brain
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Intelligent Implant Systems announced today that the two-level ... sale in the United States. These components expand the capabilities of the system ... sales beginning in October of 2015, the company has seen significant sales growth in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 The report "Cryocooler ... Cryocoolers), Service (Technical Support, Product Repairs & Refurbishment, Preventive ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market ... 2022, at a CAGR of 7.29% between 2016 and ... and 94 Figures spread through 159 Pages and in-depth ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... financing and ongoing support for Connecticut's innovative, growing companies, today announced the launch ... health and financial technology (fintech) companies. , “VentureClash looks to attract ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... As part of an ongoing ... and expanding its LATAM network and logistics capabilities. Enhancements have been made ... clinical trial projects. , The expansion will provide unmatched clinical trial logistics services ...
Breaking Biology Technology: