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Andrew Gallup First to Show That Yawning is Contagious in Birds

Have you ever caught yourself yawning right after seeing someone else yawn? The same thing happens to budgies, says Andrew Gallup, assistant professor of psychology at SUNY Oneonta. His research team is the first to show that contagious yawning occurs between members of a bird species. The results are published in the May 2015 peer-reviewed journal Animal Cognition.

Contagious yawning was previously thought only to occur between humans, domestic dogs, chimpanzees and a type of rodent called the high-yawning Sprague-Dawley rat.

“To date, this is the first experimental evidence of contagious yawning in a non-mammalian species,” says Gallup, who worked with current SUNY Oneonta psychology students Janine Militello and Lexington Swartwood and 2014 graduate Serena Sackett on the research.

The findings that contagious yawning occurs between budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), also known as parakeets, in a controlled laboratory setting corroborate a previous observation of the same thing happening in a flock of these social parrots. Budgies are of Australian origin and are often kept in cages as pets. In the wild, these birds form lasting bonds within breeding pairs and interact within coordinated flocks throughout the year. In a laboratory setting, budgies are known to automatically imitate video stimuli shown to them.

Gallup’s team conducted two experiments. In the first, 16 birds were paired in adjacent cages with and without barriers blocking their view. If contagious, yawns should be clustered in time only when the birds could see one another. In the second experiment, the same birds were shown separate video clips of a budgie yawning and not yawning.

Yawning was found to occur three times as often within a five-minute window when the birds could see one another than when their view was blocked from the other bird. When they were viewing video clips of another budgie yawning, yawns occurred twice as often. This response was not the result of stress or anxiety.

The researchers believe that contagious yawning is more than just an involuntary action, but, rather, a primitive form of showing empathy. Birds are known to have certain emphatic responses, and Gallup proposes that since contagious yawns can be experimentally manipulated, budgies could be used to explore questions related to basic forms of empathic processing.

Upcoming Events

Friday, June 3, 2016

Elite Dance Academy Recital 6/3/2016

6:00 PM to 8:30 PM - Fine Arts Goodrich Theater

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SOAL Meetings (Event canceled) 5/31/2016

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Center for Multicultural Experiences/Lee Hall Multipurpose Room - 101

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SOAL Meetings (Event canceled) 5/24/2016

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Center for Multicultural Experiences/Lee Hall Multipurpose Room - 101

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pie A Teacher Candidate! 4/20/2016

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad D We are having a Pie a Teacher Candidate event to raise money for the local homeless shelter, family services and Job Corps/Headstart. We will also be collecting book donations.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Save aSack 4/20/2016

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Mills Mills Lobby A save a sack

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

OHFest Give Away Tabling 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad C

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition 2016 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Fine Arts Gallery - Martin-Mullen Art Gallery

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Graphic Design Exhibition: Music of the Decades by Dominick Costanzo 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Fine Arts Gallery - Project Space Art Gallery Gallery Reception: Thursday, April 14th, 5:30 pm

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Earth Week 4/20/2016

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Quad Areas Schumacher Quad A

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Communal Painting for a Cause 4/20/2016

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad B Co-Sponsoring with Philosophy club having a canvas painted by students participating in fundraiser, as well as selling bracelets where all proceeds will be donated to Save the Children of Bolivia in accordance with a faculty led trip.

Andrew Gallup First to Show That Yawning is Contagious in Birds

Latest Stories

Have you ever caught yourself yawning right after seeing someone else yawn? The same thing happens to budgies, says Andrew Gallup, assistant professor of psychology at SUNY Oneonta. His research team is the first to show that contagious yawning occurs between members of a bird species. The results are published in the May 2015 peer-reviewed journal Animal Cognition.

Contagious yawning was previously thought only to occur between humans, domestic dogs, chimpanzees and a type of rodent called the high-yawning Sprague-Dawley rat.

“To date, this is the first experimental evidence of contagious yawning in a non-mammalian species,” says Gallup, who worked with current SUNY Oneonta psychology students Janine Militello and Lexington Swartwood and 2014 graduate Serena Sackett on the research.

The findings that contagious yawning occurs between budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), also known as parakeets, in a controlled laboratory setting corroborate a previous observation of the same thing happening in a flock of these social parrots. Budgies are of Australian origin and are often kept in cages as pets. In the wild, these birds form lasting bonds within breeding pairs and interact within coordinated flocks throughout the year. In a laboratory setting, budgies are known to automatically imitate video stimuli shown to them.

Gallup’s team conducted two experiments. In the first, 16 birds were paired in adjacent cages with and without barriers blocking their view. If contagious, yawns should be clustered in time only when the birds could see one another. In the second experiment, the same birds were shown separate video clips of a budgie yawning and not yawning.

Yawning was found to occur three times as often within a five-minute window when the birds could see one another than when their view was blocked from the other bird. When they were viewing video clips of another budgie yawning, yawns occurred twice as often. This response was not the result of stress or anxiety.

The researchers believe that contagious yawning is more than just an involuntary action, but, rather, a primitive form of showing empathy. Birds are known to have certain emphatic responses, and Gallup proposes that since contagious yawns can be experimentally manipulated, budgies could be used to explore questions related to basic forms of empathic processing.

Upcoming Events

Friday, June 3, 2016

Elite Dance Academy Recital 6/3/2016

6:00 PM to 8:30 PM - Fine Arts Goodrich Theater

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SOAL Meetings (Event canceled) 5/31/2016

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Center for Multicultural Experiences/Lee Hall Multipurpose Room - 101

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SOAL Meetings (Event canceled) 5/24/2016

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Center for Multicultural Experiences/Lee Hall Multipurpose Room - 101

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pie A Teacher Candidate! 4/20/2016

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad D We are having a Pie a Teacher Candidate event to raise money for the local homeless shelter, family services and Job Corps/Headstart. We will also be collecting book donations.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Save aSack 4/20/2016

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Mills Mills Lobby A save a sack

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

OHFest Give Away Tabling 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad C

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition 2016 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Fine Arts Gallery - Martin-Mullen Art Gallery

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Graphic Design Exhibition: Music of the Decades by Dominick Costanzo 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Fine Arts Gallery - Project Space Art Gallery Gallery Reception: Thursday, April 14th, 5:30 pm

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Earth Week 4/20/2016

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Quad Areas Schumacher Quad A

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Communal Painting for a Cause 4/20/2016

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad B Co-Sponsoring with Philosophy club having a canvas painted by students participating in fundraiser, as well as selling bracelets where all proceeds will be donated to Save the Children of Bolivia in accordance with a faculty led trip.

Andrew Gallup First to Show That Yawning is Contagious in Birds

Latest Stories

Have you ever caught yourself yawning right after seeing someone else yawn? The same thing happens to budgies, says Andrew Gallup, assistant professor of psychology at SUNY Oneonta. His research team is the first to show that contagious yawning occurs between members of a bird species. The results are published in the May 2015 peer-reviewed journal Animal Cognition.

Contagious yawning was previously thought only to occur between humans, domestic dogs, chimpanzees and a type of rodent called the high-yawning Sprague-Dawley rat.

“To date, this is the first experimental evidence of contagious yawning in a non-mammalian species,” says Gallup, who worked with current SUNY Oneonta psychology students Janine Militello and Lexington Swartwood and 2014 graduate Serena Sackett on the research.

The findings that contagious yawning occurs between budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), also known as parakeets, in a controlled laboratory setting corroborate a previous observation of the same thing happening in a flock of these social parrots. Budgies are of Australian origin and are often kept in cages as pets. In the wild, these birds form lasting bonds within breeding pairs and interact within coordinated flocks throughout the year. In a laboratory setting, budgies are known to automatically imitate video stimuli shown to them.

Gallup’s team conducted two experiments. In the first, 16 birds were paired in adjacent cages with and without barriers blocking their view. If contagious, yawns should be clustered in time only when the birds could see one another. In the second experiment, the same birds were shown separate video clips of a budgie yawning and not yawning.

Yawning was found to occur three times as often within a five-minute window when the birds could see one another than when their view was blocked from the other bird. When they were viewing video clips of another budgie yawning, yawns occurred twice as often. This response was not the result of stress or anxiety.

The researchers believe that contagious yawning is more than just an involuntary action, but, rather, a primitive form of showing empathy. Birds are known to have certain emphatic responses, and Gallup proposes that since contagious yawns can be experimentally manipulated, budgies could be used to explore questions related to basic forms of empathic processing.

Upcoming Events

Friday, June 3, 2016

Elite Dance Academy Recital 6/3/2016

6:00 PM to 8:30 PM - Fine Arts Goodrich Theater

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SOAL Meetings (Event canceled) 5/31/2016

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Center for Multicultural Experiences/Lee Hall Multipurpose Room - 101

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SOAL Meetings (Event canceled) 5/24/2016

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Center for Multicultural Experiences/Lee Hall Multipurpose Room - 101

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pie A Teacher Candidate! 4/20/2016

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad D We are having a Pie a Teacher Candidate event to raise money for the local homeless shelter, family services and Job Corps/Headstart. We will also be collecting book donations.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Save aSack 4/20/2016

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Mills Mills Lobby A save a sack

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

OHFest Give Away Tabling 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad C

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition 2016 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Fine Arts Gallery - Martin-Mullen Art Gallery

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Graphic Design Exhibition: Music of the Decades by Dominick Costanzo 4/20/2016

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Fine Arts Gallery - Project Space Art Gallery Gallery Reception: Thursday, April 14th, 5:30 pm

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Earth Week 4/20/2016

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Quad Areas Schumacher Quad A

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Communal Painting for a Cause 4/20/2016

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Quad Areas IRC Quad B Co-Sponsoring with Philosophy club having a canvas painted by students participating in fundraiser, as well as selling bracelets where all proceeds will be donated to Save the Children of Bolivia in accordance with a faculty led trip.