While previous studies have suggested a connection between contagious yawning and empathy, new research from the Duke Center for Human Genome Variation finds that contagious yawning may decrease with age and is not strongly related to variables like empathy, tiredness and energy levels.
The study, published March 14 in the journal PLOS ONE, is the most comprehensive look at factors influencing contagious yawning to date. The researchers said a better understanding of the biology involved in contagious yawning could ultimately shed light on illnesses such as schizophrenia or autism.
In contrast to previous studies, the researchers
did not find a strong connection between contagious yawning