About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Longer Yawns May Indicate Bigger Brain Size

by Julia Samuel on October 10, 2016 at 4:10 PM
Font : A-A+

Longer Yawns May Indicate Bigger Brain Size

When we are bored or sleepy, we yawn or sometimes when we see someone yawn, and you feel like yawning yourself. But what really is yawning? There hasn't been a very conclusive answer yet, but scientists have found a surprising link between the length of a yawn and the size of the brain.

Scientists from the State University of New York came to this realization by first considering such animals as gorillas and elephants - they are bigger than us and yet have smaller brains. And interestingly, they all yawn for shorter times than humans. Researchers hypothesized that brain size (rather than body size) is linked to the yawn length.

Advertisement


Importantly, neither the size of the body nor the anatomical structures specific to yawning (cranium and mandible) are driving these effects, because gorillas, camels, horses, lions, walruses, and African elephants all have shorter average yawns than humans.

Scientists scanned videos of yawning animals, studying 205 yawns from 177 individual animals of different species. Mice yawned the shortest, about 0.8 seconds on average. Humans, of course, had the longest yawns, averaging 6.5 seconds.
Advertisement

Psychologist Andrew Gallup, one of the researchers in the study that the purpose of yawning may be to cool the brain. If you (as an animal) did have a larger brain, it makes sense that it would take longer to cool it (by yawning).

Gallup has some data to prove his idea. He implanted temperature probes in rats brains and showed that yawning does, in fact, seem to cool their brains. Another experiment he performed showed that people who hold something cooling like a cold pack to their heads, are less likely to start yawning (even if others are yawning away).

Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
World Disability Day 2022 - The Role of Innovative Transformation
Diet and Oral Health: The Sugary Connection May Become Sour
World AIDS Day 2022 - Equalize!
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Brain Brain Facts Ataxia Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Most Popular on Medindia

How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) A-Z Drug Brands in India Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Find a Hospital The Essence of Yoga Post-Nasal Drip Selfie Addiction Calculator Find a Doctor
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

Longer Yawns May Indicate Bigger Brain Size Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests