Q:

What causes yawning?

A:

Quick Answer

The theories regarding why people yawn range from boredom to cooling the brain to helping the brain to stay more alert. Regardless of what causes yawning, it is widely accepted that yawning is contagious.

Know More
What causes yawning?
Credit: Peopleimages E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

According to the Huffington Post, sleep researchers are stumped on how yawning relates to sleep, but acknowledge that it often occurs in response to fatigue.

According to BGR, research from the University of Vienna suggests yawning helps to cool the brain, thereby keeping a person more alert and less inclined to fall asleep in inappropriate or unsafe circumstances. The research shows that yawning occurs less frequently when the ambient temperature is very hot or cold, suggesting that the act of yawning is indeed related to temperature.

Psychology Today reports that research has shown that yawning is tied to boredom and the power of suggestion, with most people yawning in reaction to seeing another person yawn. The paraventricular nucleus portion of the brain's hypothalamus emits a signal that causes a human being to yawn. This section of the brain also generates a hormone that increases significantly when a person is asleep and just before he awakes. Researchers say this may explain why most people yawn shortly after getting out of bed each morning.

Learn more about Human Anatomy

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which nostril goes straight to the brain?

    A:

    Each nostril communicates more directly with a specific hemisphere of the brain, according to Science IQ. Researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center, which studies the sense of smell, showed in an experiment that the left nostril communicates with the left hemisphere and the right nostril with the right hemisphere.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the left parietal lobe?

    A:

    The left parietal lobe is the left side of one of the four lobes of the cerebrum, which is the largest portion of the brain. The parietal lobe is located directly underneath the skull at the back of the head. It processes sensory and visual input.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the parietal lobe?

    A:

    The parietal lobe is one of the four major lobes that comprise the brain, and it plays a role in interpreting sensory information. Making individuals aware of their limbs is a major responsibility of the parietal lobe. Non-verbal language is processed in this region as well. The parietal lobe is located behind the frontal lobe and above the occipital lobe in the brain.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the basic human organs third graders should know?

    A:

    Third graders should know about the brain, the heart, the lungs and the stomach, according the Texas Department of State Health Services. These organs make up the main parts of the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and nervous systems.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore