The contagion of yawning in chimpanzees.
The contagion of yawns among primates is not only an indicator of sleep or boredom. For chimpanzees is also a sign of social connection among individuals,according to new research conducted at the Primate Research Center Yerkes Emory University (USA).Scientists say chimps yawn more when they see someone open the mouth of the same family or social group if they see a stranger yawned .
In an article published in the journal Public Library of Science One (PLoS ONE), Matthew Campbell and his colleagues suggest that the more contagious a yawn in a group of primate empathy between them. All indications, they say, to ”yawning is contagious for the same reason that smiling, frowning and other facial expressions. “ ”The contagion of yawning can be used as a visible measure of empathy”, the ability to perceive and share the experiences and emotions of others, Campbell concludes.