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Why We Yawn: To Cool the Brain!

Why do we yawn? Andrew Gallup, a researcher at Bingham University, explained that we yawn to prevent our brains from overheating:

If your head is overheated, there's a good chance you'll yawn soon, according to a new study that found the primary purpose of yawning is to control brain temperature.

The finding solves several mysteries about yawning, such as why it's most commonly done just before and after sleeping, why certain diseases lead to excessive yawning, and why breathing through the nose and cooling off the forehead often stop yawning.

The key yawn instigator appears to be brain temperature.

"Brains are like computers," Andrew Gallup, a researcher in the Department of Biology at Binghamton University who led the study, told Discovery News. "They operate most efficiently when cool, and physical adaptations have evolved to allow maximum cooling of the
brain."

Link - Thanks Geekazoid!

(That's a cute baby named Livia, yawning like a lion. Photo: patata1017 [Flickr])


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Lots of human behavior is contagious, not just yawning. People mimic the behavior of others around them subconsciously all the time, you just don't really notice it.
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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

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