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Première conférence internationale sur le bâillement
First International Conference on Yawning
Paris 24 - 25 juin 2010
Galerie des Photos de FICY
 mathew campbell
Exploring the link between empathy and contagious yawning
Matthew W. Campbell & Frans B. M. de Waal
There is mounting experimental support for the link between contagious yawning and empathy, and we sought to test this link further. If empathy is the mechanism of yawn contagion, then yawn contagion should be susceptible to the same social biases as other measures of empathy. One example in people is prejudice, or the in-group–out-group bias, in which people empathize more with people seen as belonging to the same group as themselves than people seen as different. We tested whether chimpanzees show an in-group–out-group bias in contagious yawning.
We studied two groups of chimpanzees (12 and 11 individuals in each) at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center who had no visual contact and had never seen each other. We videotaped spontaneous yawns from chimpanzees in both groups. We edited a sequence of yawns from seven individuals in each group (yawn video) and a sequence of neutral expressions from the same individuals (control video). Thus, we had four videos: familiar yawns, familiar control, unfamiliar yawns, and unfamiliar control. Each chimpanzee (N = 22) saw all 4 videos, with one video per day. Chimpanzees yawned significantly more when viewing yawns of their own group than the yawns of the strange individuals or the controls. Thus, chimpanzees showed an in-group-out-group bias in contagious yawning, which is further evidence that contagious yawning is a measure of empathy.
Sleepy or Empathetic: What Does Yawning Mean? a blog
Methodological Problems in the Study of Contagious Yawning
Matthew Campbell
Frans de Waal
Living Links Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, USA
The recent interest in contagious yawning has raised several challenges as the varied methods of testing contagious yawning leave some unresolved issues. We do not know how differences in key variables affect the observed rates of yawning, and we highlight these as in need of direct testing. Different researchers analyze their results differently, and we make some recommendations for more rigorous, thorough, and informative analyses. Ultimately, problems arise when authors compare studies that used different methods and different analyses, without acknowledging how these differences may have affected the results. In this case, authors make inappropriate comparisons, which leads to conclusions that add confusion to the literature. Our goal in raising awareness of these issues is to generate new experiments and improve discussion of existing research. With its link to empathy, a more standardized study of contagious yawning may be a useful tool for a variety of disciplines.

Contagious yawning has been linked in humans to empathy, and such cognitively complex capacties as self-recognition and theory-of-mind. There is previous evidence from a small population (N=6) that chimpanzees also display contagious yawning (Anderson et al 2004). We tested a new method of stimulating contagious yawning using a three-dimensional computer animation program. We created three distinct virtual chimpanzees, which could be given motion and viewed from different angles. The virtual chimpanzees were then animated to yawn, hoot, tooth-clack, and form play faces (all without sound). From these animations we assembled two video stimulus sets, a Yawn condition, consisting of repeated 10-second clips of the different yawn animations, and a Control condition, consisting of repeated 10-second clips of the other three mouth-moving expressions. Twenty-four chimpanzees at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center were tested in 12 mutually exclusive pairs, each of which saw each stimulus video twice. Stimulus videos lasted 15 minutes each, consisting of 90 separate clips, and we observed the subjects for an additional 5 minutes to look for any buildup effect. We tallied the number of yawns for each subject in each condition from video recordings. Multiple individuals yawned significantly more in the Yawn condition than in the Control condition (binomial tests). The chimpanzees seem to have sufficiently identified with the animated chimpanzees for an involuntary behavior to be stimulated. Computer generated animations may have a host of applications for the emotional and cognitive testing of chimpanzees.
 -Campbell M et al. Computer animations stimulate contagious yawning in chimpanzees Proceed Royal Soc Biol 2009:276(1676):4255-4259
-Campbell MW, de Waal F. Ingroup-Outgroup Bias in Contagious Yawning by Chimpanzees Supports Link to Empathy. Plos One. 2011;6(4):1-4
-Campbell M, de Waal F. Methodological Problems in the Study of Contagious Yawning; In Walusinski O (ed): The Mystery of Yawning in Physiology and Disease. Front Neurol Neurosci. Basel, Karger, 2010, vol 28, pp 120&endash;127
-Campbell M, de Waal F. Chimpanzees empathize with group mates and humans, but not with baboons or unfamiliar chimpanzees. Proc. R. Soc. B 281: 20140013

Exploring the link between empathy and contagious yawning
Matthew W. Campbell & Frans B. M. de Waal

Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases F de Waal
L'âge de l'empathie De Wall F
Empathy and contagion of yawning: A behavioral continuity related to a behavioral discontinuity ?
B Deputte & O Walusinski
Tous les articles sur la contagion du bâillement
All articles about contagious yawning