Navigation Links
Yawning May Help the Brain Chill Out
Date:9/30/2011

FRIDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Yawning may be a natural way of regulating brain temperature, a new study suggests.

U.S. researchers examined the frequency of yawns among 80 people in the winter and another 80 people in the summer and found seasonal variations.

Yawning is known to be "contagious," the researchers pointed out. After being showed pictures of other people yawning, nearly half of the participants yawned while outdoors in winter, compared with less than one-quarter while outdoors in summer, according to the report published online Sept. 22 in the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience.

The finding that people yawn less often in the summer, when outdoor temperatures often exceed body temperature, suggests that yawning could be a natural brain-cooling mechanism, said the researchers at Princeton University and the University of Arizona.

"This provides additional support for the view that the mechanisms controlling the expression of yawning are involved in thermoregulatory physiology. Despite numerous theories posited in the past few decades, very little experimental research has been done to uncover the biological function of yawning, and there is still no consensus about its purpose among the dozen or so researchers studying the topic today," study leader Andrew Gallup, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton's department of ecology and evolutionary biology, said in a university news release.

"Enter the brain cooling, or thermoregulatory, hypothesis, which proposes that yawning is triggered by increases in brain temperature, and that the physiological consequences of a yawn act to promote brain cooling," he added.

Yawning may help cool the brain through the deep inhalation of cool air and by enhanced blood flow to the brain caused by the stretching of the jaw.

"According to the brain cooling hypothesis, it is the temperature of the ambient air that gives a yawn its utility. Thus yawning should be counterproductive -- and therefore suppressed -- in ambient temperatures at or exceeding body temperature because taking a deep inhalation of air would not promote cooling. In other words, there should be a 'thermal window' or a relatively narrow range of ambient temperatures in which to expect highest rates of yawning," Gallup explained.

More information

Neuroscience for Kids has more about yawning.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Princeton University, news release, September 2011


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. More than a sign of sleepiness, yawning may cool the brain
2. Brain Continues to Develop Beyond Adolescence
3. Stanford brain imaging study shows physiological basis of dyslexia
4. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center research discovers key to survival of brain cells
5. How normal cells become brain cancers
6. New modeling of brains circuitry may bring better understanding of Parkinsons disease
7. Could Too Little Vitamin B-12 Shrink the Aging Brain?
8. Could targeting a virus treat a common pediatric brain tumor?
9. Some brain wiring continues to develop well into our 20s: U of A study
10. The disinhibited brain
11. Buyer beware: Advertising may seduce your brain, UCLA researchers say
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... A new ... with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia have better survival rates if surgery is performed ... (CDH)—a condition where the diaphragm fails to form completely, letting abdominal organs into ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... announced that student team BioCellection won the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize of the ... Prize, the Gloeckner Undergraduate Award, the Michelson People’s Choice Award, and the Committee ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... World Patent Marketing ... an exercise invention which aids in proper muscle development. , "The Gym & ... Creative Director of World Patent Marketing. "Globalization has threatened the future growth of ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... the deadliest type of skin cancer. Although only about 1 percent of skin cancer cases ... 10,000 people are expected to die of melanoma this year. The risk increases with age, ... most commonly diagnosed cancers in young women. A recent breakthrough in genetic studies may give ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... New York City based ... surgery . This surgery is a very effective way to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. ... , Orthognathic surgery is a procedure that involves one or both jaw bones. This ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... consumer insights on healthcare, announced today that it has ... report Cool Vendor in Life Sciences, 2016, ... 15, 2016.  The report focuses on life-science- oriented analytics, ... insight from patients and doctors, confirm medication ingestion, and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  ValGenesis, ... Lifecycle Management Solutions (VLMS) today announced that ... services for sufferers of chronic kidney failure ... to manage their corporate validation process. The ... a software solution to manage their validation ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016   ... sur le trimestre, soutenu par une croissance de ... Croissance de +16% des ventes aux hôpitaux et ... Technologies (Euronext : MKEA, FR0010609263 ; OTCQX : MKEAY), inventeur de ... son chiffre d,affaires pour le premier trimestre clos ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: