Incubation is Tiring

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Recently, scientists discovered through "4D" imaging that unborn babies yawn while they are in the womb.  This shines light on the development of the human brain before the baby is even born.  This development provides ammunition for the pro-life side of the ever-present issue of abortion.  We already knew that babies tend to "kick" while in the womb, but most people assumed it was just because of movement or reflexes developing.  With the yawning development, this could be caused by the growing body testing nerves...or the baby could be already awake in there.  Add the facts that, according to the article, babies can also "hiccup, swallow, and stretch" (1), it definitely seems that fetuses can be considered living beings.

            The same scientists also figured out that that yawning from the fetuses is not contagious, unlike yawning from born humans. They then decided to figure out why the fetuses can yawn.  The article mentions a study from 1999, which showed that premature babies yawned more than full-term babies. Then again, "Scientists don't know why adults, let alone babies, yawn, said study co-author Nadja Reissland, a developmental psychologist at Durham University in the United Kingdom.  But yawning behavior changes throughout life." (1) They decided to take a look at the yawning patterns to figure out both what they mean and if it is actual yawning instead of the practicing opening its mouth to breastfeed once it's born. After monitoring a series of fetuses via ultrasound scan, they still don't know exactly what the yawning is for, but they

Think it might have to do with fetus development. "'In fact, yawning might be a trigger for brain maturation,"' [Reissland] told LiveScience. 'Ultimately, it could be used in medical practice. If you see a fetus yawning a lot, there might be some problem.'" (1) But what if it means the brain develops faster?  The discovery, while interesting, is still very vague as to what it means.

            What do you think it means?  Did you know about this already?




1 Comment

I did not know this already and seems very interesting. I am eager to hear more about this as the science develops. If a baby yawns more does this mean they may end up being smarter? Science can predict to a slight degree of uncertainty how successful people will be in their lives based on high school popularity, height, weight, etc. So what if they can start predicting life success by things such as how many times a baby yawns while in the room. That would be pretty cool. I have to raise a question though. I do believe yawning in regular aged people is from a body regulating process. When we yawn, we do so because our head is overheating. Yawning helps regulate this and keep our heads cooler. We also yawn if we are tired. In this case, yawning is trying to keep us awake. From an article I found it explains that our brains are like super computers who are constantly overheating based on what we are doing and how we are doing. Yawning is like the fan inside of the computer, keep our brains cool, calm and collected.

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