The 2011 Ig Nobel Physiology Prize was shared by Anna Wilkinson (of the UK), Natalie Sebanz (of the Netherlands, Hungary, and Austria), Isabella Mandl (of Austria) and Ludwig Huber (of Austria) for their study ‘No Evidence of Contagious Yawning in the Red-Footed Tortoise.’ (published in Current Zoology, vol. 57, no. 4, 2011. pp. 477-84.) Since then, […]
A Yawn Detector, Networked
The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) as depicted above, was chosen as a reference for the ‘Networked Yawn Detector’ (a car-driver safety-monitor) developed by Zhengrong Yao and Haibo Li of the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Umeå University, Sweden. “We test our system publicly, 26 students from the Applied Physics and Electronic Engineering Department […]
Winter/Summer Suggestion that Contagious Yawners are Cooling Their Brains
Another attempt to explain the mystery of why people yawn: “A thermal window for yawning in humans: Yawning as a brain cooling mechanism,” Jorg J.M. Massen [pictured here], Kim Dusch, Omar Tonsi Eldakar, Andrew C. Gallup, Physiology & Behavior, epub 2014. (Thanks to @ThatNeilMartin for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University […]
Do Female Bonobos Fake Orgasm?
“Do Female Bonobos Fake Orgasm?” ask Wolter Seuntjens and Karolina Hansen (pictured here), going on to explain that they would like to know the answer. Details are in their paper (which you can read in its entirety): “Do Female Bonobos Fake Orgasm?” Wolter Seuntjens and Karolina Hansen, Journal of Unsolved Questions, vol. 1, no., 15, 2011. […]
Viva Anna Wilkinson, tortoise cognitionist!
New Scientist reporter Jeff Hecht profiles Anna Wilkinson, whose discovery about contagious yawning in tortoises resulted in an Ig Nobel Prize for her and her colleagues. The report begins: “IT ALL stems from Moses,” says Anna Wilkinson. Moses is her pet red-footed tortoise and a bit of a celebrity in the science world. Why? First, […]