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22 November 2017

Why is yawning contagious?

Why is yawning contagious? Scientists at the University of Nottingham have recently published a study which shows why yawning when someone else nearby does is so very difficult to resist. It turns out that the chain reaction is automatically triggered as a virtually unstoppable primitive reflex in the brain’s primary motor cortex, which is responsible for motor function. Experts refer to infectious yawning as an example of echopraxia – the automatic and involuntary imitation of another individual’s actions and it occurs in other species, like dogs and chimpanzees, too.

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