Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 198–207 | Cite as

On yawning and its functions

  • Ronald BaenningerEmail author


The forms and behavioral correlates of yawning are described, and the phylogenetic and ontogenetic aspects of the act are examined with particular attention to its possible functions. Much evidence supports the view that yawning is an important mediator of behavioral arousal levels, a view that is further strengthened by a review of endocrine, neurotransmitter, and pharmacological mechanisms of yawning: A major function of yawning appears to involve maintenance or increase of arousal when environments provide relatively little stimulation.


Cerebral Blood Flow Apomorphine Sexual Arousal Motion Sickness Penile Erection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphia

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