Contrary to spontaneous yawning, yawn contagion occurs when yawning in a subject (responder) is elicited by the yawns of others (triggers). Yawn contagion has been associated with inter-individual synchronisation, activity coordination and possibly emotional contagion, based on the perception–action mechanism. We collected data on yawn contagion and grooming and verified—for the first time—yawn contagion presence and modulating factors in a wild strepsirhine. Specifically, we considered the diurnal lemur Indri indri (inhabiting Maromizaha rainforest, eastern Madagascar), which lives in socially cohesive family units. We recorded 613 yawning events involving 28 individuals and found that yawn contagion was present in the indris (with the best predictor for an individual to yawn at a given time of day was observing another group member yawning) and that it was positively influenced by grooming levels (but not by the spatial distance) between trigger and responder. Age and sex had no significant relationship with yawn contagion likelihood. Because yawn contagion has been found in different mammalian species regardless of their phylogenetic closeness, this study, reporting the phenomenon in a lemur species with highly cohesive behavioural pattern and able to emit coordinated vocal displays, adds a valuable piece to the investigation of the pressures that may have favoured yawning as a (possibly emotional) communicative cue during evolution.

First evidence of contagious yawning in a wild lemur

Valente, Daria
First
;
Torti, Valeria;De Gregorio, Chiara;Gamba, Marco;Carugati, Filippo;Miaretsoa, Longondraza;Raimondi, Teresa;Giacoma, Cristina
Co-last
;
Norscia, Ivan
Co-last
2023-01-01

Abstract

Contrary to spontaneous yawning, yawn contagion occurs when yawning in a subject (responder) is elicited by the yawns of others (triggers). Yawn contagion has been associated with inter-individual synchronisation, activity coordination and possibly emotional contagion, based on the perception–action mechanism. We collected data on yawn contagion and grooming and verified—for the first time—yawn contagion presence and modulating factors in a wild strepsirhine. Specifically, we considered the diurnal lemur Indri indri (inhabiting Maromizaha rainforest, eastern Madagascar), which lives in socially cohesive family units. We recorded 613 yawning events involving 28 individuals and found that yawn contagion was present in the indris (with the best predictor for an individual to yawn at a given time of day was observing another group member yawning) and that it was positively influenced by grooming levels (but not by the spatial distance) between trigger and responder. Age and sex had no significant relationship with yawn contagion likelihood. Because yawn contagion has been found in different mammalian species regardless of their phylogenetic closeness, this study, reporting the phenomenon in a lemur species with highly cohesive behavioural pattern and able to emit coordinated vocal displays, adds a valuable piece to the investigation of the pressures that may have favoured yawning as a (possibly emotional) communicative cue during evolution.
2023
77
1
1
11
Emotional contagion, Primates, Perception–action model, Behavioural synchronisation
Valente, Daria; Torti, Valeria; De Gregorio, Chiara; Gamba, Marco; Carugati, Filippo; Miaretsoa, Longondraza; Pavoni, Francesca; Raimondi, Teresa; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Giacoma, Cristina; Norscia, Ivan
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Valente_et_al_postprint.pdf

Open Access dal 06/01/2024

Dimensione 344.38 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
344.38 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1884422
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact