Friday, 5 June 2015

reflex arc or virality

It has been demonstrated perennially that yawning is contagious, even across different species.

Studies have also shown that reflective yawning is a good gage for empathy—imitating someone, even unconsciously like crossing one’s legs in the same way or being synchronised in stride or even the more embarrassing slip or copying someone’s diction (where another might believe that he or she are being mocked instead), betrays interest—and yawns are more likely to spread around if there is some spared affinity. Recently someone has even shown that broods of parakeets pass around this reflex in a highly ritualised, choreographed manner. Further, there are theories that yawning helps to coordinate cycles of sleep and wakefulness among close associates (a zeitgeber) and might even be akin to wolfs howling together. Alternatively (but not exclusively), the ability to yawn, and mirror this behaviour, that allowed humans to expand their intellect, being a mechanism to cool overheated brains, aside from fatigue or boredom. There is no definitive consensus on either its social or physiological function, however. Although yawning itself is hardly a memorable act and I’d venture to say that I yawn in isolation when no one else is around, I can’t that’s not a false proposition and I wonder if there wasn’t one primal yawn that’s been passed around, jumping species, ever since.