Yawning continues to pose as a scientist’s conundrum. Evidence is presented of yawning and contagious yawning in a number of different neurological disorders. Explanations are discussed in the context of disparate neurological disorders together with proposals for how these findings may be linked. Thus, greater understanding of yawning and of neurological disorders may be achieved by exploring common neuro-chemical pathways and the involvement of neurotransmitters that are implicated in these different disorders. Finally, contagious yawning is discussed in the context of the susceptibility of persons and the similarity this presents with our understanding of the mechanisms involved in hypnosis.
Simon B.N. Thompson