文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2012-10-24 05:04 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
Do you get tired when others yawn(哈欠)? Does your dog get tired when you yawn? New research from Lund University in Sweden establishes that dogs catch yawns from humans. But not if the dogs are too young. The study, published in Springer's journal Animal Cognition, found that, like humans, dogs show a developmental trend in susceptibility to contagious1 yawning. While dogs above seven months of age catch human yawns, younger dogs are immune to yawn contagion2(传染病). Contagious yawning is not just a sign of sleepiness or boredom3. Previous research has shown contagious yawning in humans, adult chimpanzees, baboons4 and dogs, and suggests that it can be used as a measure of empathy. Empathy, mimicking5 the emotional responses of others, is difficult to measure directly, but contagious yawning allows assessment6 of a behavioral empathetic response, the researchers say.
While the development of contagious yawning in human children has seen much research, this is the first study to investigate its development in another species.
Elainie Alenkær Madsen, PhD, and Tomas Persson, PhD, researchers at Lund University, engaged 35 dogs in Denmark, aged7 between four and 14 months, in bouts8 of play and cuddling and observed the dogs' responses when a human repeatedly yawned or gaped9 or performed neither of the two expressions. Only dogs above seven months of age showed evidence of contagious yawning.
This pattern of development is consistent with that in humans, who also show a developmental increase in susceptibility to yawn contagion, with children typically beginning to yawn contagiously10 at the age of four, when a number of cognitive11 abilities, such as accurate identification of others' emotions, begin to clearly manifest. One interpretation12 that Madsen and Persson suggest is that the results reflect a general developmental pattern, shared by humans and other animals, in terms of affective empathy and the ability to identify others' emotions. Given that contagious yawning may be an empathetic response, the results suggest that empathy and the mimicry13(模仿) that may underlie14 it develop slowly over the first year of a dog's life.
There was some evidence that the researchers may have transferred the emotion that yawning reflects (sleepiness) to the dogs, as nearly half of the dogs responded to yawning with a reduction in arousal(觉醒,激励), to the extent that the experimenter needed to prevent a number of dogs from falling asleep.
Research with adult humans and other primates15 suggest that individuals are more likely to yawn contagiously to those with whom they have close emotional bonds. Madsen and Persson tested the dogs with both an unfamiliar16 experimenter and their owner, but found no evidence that the puppies preferentially yawned in response to the yawns of the human with whom they were emotionally close. Since this is also the case for young human children, the researchers suggest that in species that show an empathy-based social modulatory effect on contagious yawning, this behavior only emerges at later stages of development.


1 contagious TZ0yl     
  • It's a highly contagious infection.这种病极易传染。
  • He's got a contagious laugh.他的笑富有感染力。
2 contagion 9ZNyl     
  • A contagion of fear swept through the crowd.一种恐惧感在人群中迅速蔓延开。
  • The product contagion effect has numerous implications for marketing managers and retailers.产品传染效应对市场营销管理者和零售商都有很多的启示。
3 boredom ynByy     
  • Unemployment can drive you mad with boredom.失业会让你无聊得发疯。
  • A walkman can relieve the boredom of running.跑步时带着随身听就不那么乏味了。
4 baboons 2ea074fed3eb47c5bc3098d84f7bc946     
n.狒狒( baboon的名词复数 )
  • Baboons could break branches and leaders. 狒狒会折断侧枝和顶梢。 来自辞典例句
  • And as nonprimates, they provoke fewer ethical and safety-related concerns than chimps or baboons. 而且作为非灵长类,就不会产生像用黑猩猩或狒狒那样的伦理和安全方面的顾虑。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 医学的第四次革命
5 mimicking ac830827d20b6bf079d24a8a6d4a02ed     
v.(尤指为了逗乐而)模仿( mimic的现在分词 );酷似
  • She's always mimicking the teachers. 她总喜欢模仿老师的言谈举止。
  • The boy made us all laugh by mimicking the teacher's voice. 这男孩模仿老师的声音,逗得我们大家都笑了。 来自辞典例句
6 assessment vO7yu     
  • This is a very perceptive assessment of the situation.这是一个对该情况的极富洞察力的评价。
  • What is your assessment of the situation?你对时局的看法如何?
7 aged 6zWzdI     
  • He had put on weight and aged a little.他胖了,也老点了。
  • He is aged,but his memory is still good.他已年老,然而记忆力还好。
8 bouts 2abe9936190c45115a3f6a38efb27c43     
n.拳击(或摔跤)比赛( bout的名词复数 );一段(工作);(尤指坏事的)一通;(疾病的)发作
  • For much of his life he suffered from recurrent bouts of depression. 他的大半辈子反复发作抑郁症。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • It was one of fistiana's most famous championship bouts. 这是拳击界最有名的冠军赛之一。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
9 gaped 11328bb13d82388ec2c0b2bf7af6f272     
v.目瞪口呆地凝视( gape的过去式和过去分词 );张开,张大
  • A huge chasm gaped before them. 他们面前有个巨大的裂痕。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The front door was missing. A hole gaped in the roof. 前门不翼而飞,屋顶豁开了一个洞。 来自辞典例句
10 contagiously 16dd16df5cf614e756d085dc2d9ff656     
  • The book is unpretentious; it can present names without dropping them, and the tone is contagiously warm. 这本书写得朴实无华,它提了几个名字,但又没有滥用来抬高自己,而且书的语气热情洋溢。
  • She was contagiously bubbly. 她快乐而富有感染力。
11 cognitive Uqwz0     
  • As children grow older,their cognitive processes become sharper.孩子们越长越大,他们的认知过程变得更为敏锐。
  • The cognitive psychologist is like the tinker who wants to know how a clock works.认知心理学者倒很像一个需要通晓钟表如何运转的钟表修理匠。
12 interpretation P5jxQ     
  • His statement admits of one interpretation only.他的话只有一种解释。
  • Analysis and interpretation is a very personal thing.分析与说明是个很主观的事情。
13 mimicry oD0xb     
  • One of his few strengths was his skill at mimicry.他为数不多的强项之一就是善于模仿。
  • Language learning usually necessitates conscious mimicry.一般地说,学习语言就要进行有意识的摹仿。
14 underlie AkSwu     
  • Technology improvements underlie these trends.科技进步将成为此发展趋势的基础。
  • Many facts underlie my decision.我的决定是以许多事实为依据的。
15 primates 9536f12c27d026e37c108bd6fc53dbba     
  • Primates are alert, inquisitive animals. 灵长目动物是机灵、好奇的动物。
  • Consciousness or cerebration has been said to have emerged in the evolution of higher primates. 据说意识或思考在较高级灵长类的进化中已出现。
16 unfamiliar uk6w4     
  • I am unfamiliar with the place and the people here.我在这儿人地生疏。
  • The man seemed unfamiliar to me.这人很面生。
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