It has often been said that yawning is contagious. So, we challenge you to watch this slightly more than 1-minute video of constant yawning to see if you can get through without opening wide yourself:
Did you make it?
We’ve reported in the past about the scientific work being conducted to figure out the purpose of yawning — one idea is that it might help cool the brain or another is that it could provide a rush of oxygen.
As for the seemingly contagious nature of yawning, a study published in 2011 in the journal PLoS One found that some sort of social bonding with the person yawning impacted whether it would be contagious or not. People were most likely to yawn if they saw another person doing so if that person was a relative, friend or acquaintance — in that order.
“Strangers and acquaintances showed a longer delay in the yawn response (latency) compared to friends and kin,” the study authors stated. “This outcome suggests that the neuronal activation magnitude related to yawn contagion can differ as a function of subject familiarity. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that yawn contagion is primarily driven by the emotional closeness between individuals and not by other variables, such as gender and nationality.”
The film by Daniel Mercadante, composed of yawn footage he found around the Web, was posted a few days ago and featured as a Vimeo staff pick.
If you liked Mercadante’s work with Yawn, you might also enjoy what he did with Laughs!:
Volkswagen liked the idea so much they commissioned the artist to do something similar for their commercial:
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.