5-speed listening (Yawning - Level 3)

Why do people yawn?



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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Do you ever wonder why we yawn? Do you always yawn when you see other people yawn? A new study from Nottingham University in the UK has done research on this. Researchers found that yawning is contagious. It is a powerful and unstoppable reaction. People automatically want to yawn when they see other people yawning. The researchers said people actually yawn more when they try to stop yawning. The researchers also found that some people have a much stronger urge to yawn than other people. Lead researcher Professor Stephen Jackson said that even reading about yawning could be enough to make people yawn. You might even want to yawn right now.

The researchers studied the reactions and brain activity of 36 adult volunteers. The volunteers looked at video clips of other people yawning. They then had two choices - either to stop themselves yawning or to allow themselves to do it. The volunteers were videoed as they yawned or tried not to yawn. The researchers also monitored the brain activity of the volunteers and checked how strong their feeling to want to yawn was. Jackson said understanding more about yawning will help to treat conditions such as dementia, epilepsy and Tourettes. He said: "We are looking for potential non-drug, personalized treatments…that might be effective in [changing] imbalances in the brain."

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