Autistics are immune to contagious yawning

September 9, 2007 | By | 3 Replies More

What it means is not certain. I read of this study at Mindhacks.  

The researchers suggest that this study supports the claim that “contagious yawning and the capacity of empathy share common neural and cognitive mechanisms.”

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Category: Psychology Cognition

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Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Devi says:

    I occasionally watch the show "Mythbusters" and they did an experiment that showed yawning wasn't contagious at all. Now I really wonder whether "yawning is contagious" is a reliable statement at all.

    They also proved that cell phone use at gasoline pumps cannot spark an explosion. That makes me feel safer when I see someone else using one!

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    Devi, I've seen and participated in yawn-contagion experiments. Please post a link to this study debunking the previous century of testing.

    My favorite demonstration was in freshman psych in college, a 300 seat course. The prof had us open to a page in the text book as he went on about the subject of instincts versus socialized responses. Then he had us turn to the next page, with a prominent picture of a lion yawning. Most of the class (250?) yawned within 5 seconds. Some of the minority admitted, on questioning, that it was hard to repress the urge. And that was from a still picture!

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    I later looked up the MythBusters' test, and many of the analyses of the results. In brief, the program reported an innumerate and inaccurate conclusion, even given their own data.

    Here's one of the discussions including MythBusters responses to being busted on this test.

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