When a person sees another person yawning, they are more prone to yawn as well. As it turns out, so are puppies. According to a new study, puppies are susceptible to human yawns as well!
Elaine Alenkær Madsen, PhD, and Tomas Persson, PhD, researchers at Lund University, have been studying the yawn contagion, specifically between different species. They were able to determine that puppies above the age of seven months were susceptible to yawning when a human yawned. But, they also found that the puppies under the age of seven months did not yawn when the humans in the experiment yawned.
These findings are similar to those found for human beings. Children only begin to become susceptible to yawning at around the age of four. These results help to prove that there is a general developmental pattern, concerning empathy, that is shared by humans and other animals. These results could help other researchers in discovering more about the developmental processes of human beings and other animals similar to them, like monkeys, apes and now dogs.
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