David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 21 (6):721 – 737 (2008)
Yawning has a well documented contagious effect: viewing or hearing a yawn—as well as talking or thinking about yawns—causes human subjects to yawn. While comparative ethological and neurological accounts suggest that yawning is a function of primitive biological structures in the brain stem, these analyses do not account for infectious yawning caused by representational and semantic states. Investigating the relationship between perceptual and cognitive avenues of yawn induction affords a unique opportunity to examine how higher level cognitive faculties interact with involuntary or automated processing systems. In this paper, I examine three distinct attempts to reconcile the cognitive properties of contagious yawning with its physiological basis—one neurological, one philosophical, and one functional. None of these accounts are unproblematic, and the most plausible hypothesis for the evolution of contagious yawning does not satisfactorily explain the cognitive iterations of the phenomenon . I argue that the most likely explanation of the contagion links perceptual elements of witnessed yawns to conceptual representations. More centrally, this kind of integrated account has repercussions for general theories of human thought and rationality, and suggests that higher level representational states engage neurophysiological structures in determining human behavior.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Jonathan Bennett (1991). Folk-Psychological Explanations. In John D. Greenwood (ed.), The Future of Folk Psychology. Cambridge University Press. 176.
Vittorio Gallese & Alvin Goldman (1998). Mirror Neurons and the Simulation Theory of Mind-Reading. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (12):493-501.
C. M. Heyes (1998). Theory of Mind in Nonhuman Primates. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):101-114.
Martin Montminy (2005). What Use is Morgan's Canon? Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):399-414.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
James Dreier (2004). Lockean and Logical Truth Conditions. Analysis 64 (1):84–91.
Mark DeBellis (1999). What is Musical Intuition? Tonal Theory as Cognitive Science. Philosophical Psychology 12 (4):471 – 501.
Elisabeth Pacherie (2000). Levels of Perceptual Content. Philsophical Studies 100 (3):237-54.
Jerry A. Fodor & Zenon W. Pylyshyn (1988). Connectionism and Cognitive Architecture. Cognition 28 (1-2):3-71.
Robert Hanna (2008). Kantian Non-Conceptualism. Philosophical Studies 137 (1):41 - 64.
Sandra Blakeslee (2007/2008). The Body has a Mind of its Own: New Discoveries About How the Mind-Body Connection Helps Us Master the World. Random House.
Stephen Davies (2011). Infectious Music: Music-Listener Emotional Contagion. In Amy Coplan & Peter Goldie (eds.), Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
Keith Campbell & Nicholas J. J. Smith, Epiphenomenalism. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Robert R. Provine (2005). Contagious Yawning and Laughing: Everyday Imitation- and Mirror-Like Behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):142-142.
Added to index2010-05-07
Total downloads16 ( #113,922 of 1,410,167 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #155,015 of 1,410,167 )
How can I increase my downloads?