Yawning: The Cure For An Overheating Brain

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Attack CatApparently some bored researchers were sitting around one day, contagiously yawning among themselves, and decided to do a little research on the topic of yawning. And what did they find? There is a social aspect of yawning that is contagious between humans and helps them to stay alert.  But when looking at parakeets, where yawning isn’t contagious, it became clear that the main function of yawning is simply to cool the brain.

If your head is overheated, there’s a good chance you’ll yawn soon, according to a new study that found the primary purpose of yawning is to control brain temperature.

In fact, yawning may signal anything but boredom.  So the next time you’re talking to me, and I yawn, it means I’m thinking really hard about whatever you’re saying.  Or I could just be tired.  Take your pick.

“Yawning more accurately reflects a mechanism that maintains attention, and therefore should be looked at as a compliment!”

Here’s a link to the entire article: