Yawning: It's not all in your head, researchers confim yawning is contagious

Why do we yawn?

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - You've probably done it at least a couple times this morning, yawn, and they can be contagious.

Why? Well, it's apparently hard wired into our brains. At least that's what researchers in England are finding.

Yawning is apparently triggered involuntarily when others yawn because of a human trait called echophenomena. Echophenomena is what drives us to imitate other people's words and actions.

The researchers at the University of Nottingham showed subjects videos of people yawning and they found that not only did the subjects yawn but they found the inability to suppress a yawn after someone does it is extremely limited.

But, why do we yawn in the first place? It’s something that still puzzles researchers. There was a theory we yawn because of a lack of oxygen but it hasn't really been proven.

The theory researchers are starting to back now is that yawning is contagious because it's linked to empathy we feel for others and a need for social bonding. 

And here's a cute statistic: Even chimps and dogs find yawns contagious.

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