Logo IMG
HOME > My Amsci > Restricted Access

Restricted Access The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.

If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.

If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:


Figure 2. The physiological requirements for a yawn...Click to Enlarge Image

Yawning, that universal signal of boredom and sleepiness, is so contagious that merely reading this article will inspire many readers to yawn. The neurobehavioral basis of yawning and its contagious nature are well understood, yet certain myths persist—for example, the belief that yawning is a response to oxygen deprivation. In fact we begin yawning in the womb, and most vertebrates yawn; yet contagious yawning is confirmed only in humans and chimps. Yawning may a tool for studying the roots of social behavior and of certain pathologies such as autism and schizophrenia.

Connect With Us:


Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

Read Past Issues on JSTOR

JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.

The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.

View the full collection here.

RSS Feed Subscription

Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.

Write for American Scientist

Review our submission guidelines.

Subscribe to American Scientist