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The Mystery of Yawning in Physiology and Disease

Editor(s): Walusinski O. (Brou) 
Table of Contents
Vol. 28, No. , 2010
Section title: Paper
Walusinski O (ed): The Mystery of Yawning in Physiology and Disease. Front Neurol Neurosci. Basel, Karger, 2010, vol 28, pp 47–54
(DOI:10.1159/000307079)

Interplay between Yawning and Vigilance: A Review of the Experimental Evidence

Guggisberg A.G. · Mathis J. · Hess C.W.
aDepartment of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, and bDepartment of Neurology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: 3/26/2010
Cover Date: 2010

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISBN: 978-3-8055-9404-2 (Print)
eISBN: 978-3-8055-9405-9 (Online)

Abstract

Background: Yawning is a phylogenetically old behavior of ubiquitous occurrence. The origin and function of this conspicuous phenomenon have been subject to speculation for centuries. A widely held hypothesis posits that yawning increases the arousal level during sleepiness; thus, providing a homeostatic regulation of vigilance. Methods: This chapter reviews experimental data on the relationship between yawning and vigilance that allow testing of the components and predictions of this hypothesis. Results: Behavioral studies and electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity before and after yawning have provided consistent evidence that yawning occurs during states of low vigilance; thus, substantiating the notion that it is provoked by sleepiness. However, studies analyzing autonomic nervous activity and EEG-based indices of vigilance in yawning subjects did not find specific autonomic activations or increased arousal levels after yawning. Conclusions: The data therefore do not support an arousing effect of yawning or a role in regulationof vigilance or autonomic tone.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: 3/26/2010
Cover Date: 2010

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISBN: 978-3-8055-9404-2 (Print)
eISBN: 978-3-8055-9405-9 (Online)


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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 goverment 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.
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