Yawning Cools Your Brain, Keeps You Alert

Yawning is typically linked to tiredness, but a group of researchers from Princeton and the University of Arizona have found it may simply be a means to regulate brain temperature.

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar.

The researchers found yawning frequency correlates with the season and yawning is more likely when the temperature outside is less than the temperature of the brain. Their argument is that keeping your mouth agape helps regulate the temperature of the brain by exposing the roof to cooler air. In the author's previous studies, cooler brains have been linked to alertness, which might help explain why we yawn when we're tired.

Yawning May Cool the Brain [Discovery News]


Comments

    Still an unknown though eh,'it MAY simply be' - 'Yawning MAY Cool the Brain' They've been trying to crack the reason for yawning for years, without success! This just 'MAY' be the reason for it! #]

    Looking at that picture actually made me yawn. First time that's ever worked.

      Same.

    Doesn't explain why other people yawning makes you yawn

    Possibly to spread alertness around. Evolutionary wise it would be handy if a group of animals were all getting tired and IF this were the reason for yawning then spreading "alertness" around would be advantageous.

    This was in an article about a year or two ago... I remember it because the writer mentioned a scenario where you yawn and the person talking thinks you're bored, but you can say their conversation was so mind engaging you had to cool your brain...

    Brb googling to prove news is recycled...

      2007 Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070621161826.htm

      2008 Article: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/12/15/yawn-brain-head.html

      Love it how discovery simply republished one of their articles from Dec 2008... #SlowNewsDay #Recycling

      In fact, it's the same god damned researcher Andrew Gallup.

      This guy clearly just comes out with new "evidence" every year his superiors question why they're giving him money for research...

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now