Contagious yawning (i.e. yawning triggered by perceiving others’ yawning) is a well-documented phenomenon, but the mechanism underlying it is still unclear. In this chapter, I review the current evidence about: (1) developmental studies with typically and atypically developing populations, and (2) comparative studies in non-human animals. Developmental studies have revealed that contagious yawning is disturbed in individuals with autism spectrum disorders, suggesting that contagious yawning may share a developmental basis with the capacity for theory of mind. Comparative studies have suggested that contagious yawning can be observed in non-primate species, such as domestic dogs. As dogs are known to have exceptional skills in communicating with humans, it has also been suggested that contagious yawning may be related to the capacity for social communication. These results from developmental and comparative studies are consistent with the claim that the mechanism underlying contagious yawning relates to the capacity for empathy.
© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel
Published online: March 26, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 7
Book Serie: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience, Vol. 28, Year 2010
Editor(s): Walusinski, O. (Brou)
ISSN: 1660-4431 (Print), eISSN: 1662-2804 (Online)
For additional information:
Book Title: The Mystery of Yawning in Physiology and Disease
Editor(s): Walusinski O (ed)
For additional information:
Article / Publication Details
Published online: 3/26/2010
Cover Date: 2010
Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0
ISBN: 978-3-8055-9404-2 (Print)
eISBN: 978-3-8055-9405-9 (Online)
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.