Why is yawning contagious?


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As you have no doubt noticed, yawning is a very contagious reflex. This mimicry, specific to humans and certain other primates, is explained by the activation of specific neurons called "mirror neurons". These neurons are activated when we see a person doing certain actions. If we see a person yawning, the mirror neurons lead us to imitate them. But this reproduction only applies to certain behaviors, such as yawning. In many other cases, the brain prevents this propensity to copy our fellow human beings.

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