Networks of Contagion: From the Social to the Psyche and Back

I’m going to try and keep this as succinct as possible, so you won’t start (yawning and), fall asleep!

I’ve been noticing for a while on Twitter, that when people express themselves, they tend to change their writing styles to that of whom they meet and Follow.  Certain acronyms, emoticons, abbreviations…all of these things get used by people, whereas they never were before.  I’ve even done it! I find that very intriguing and it reminded me of something about myself.  However, I’m going to confuse you a bit.  Or make you think.  I like to do both. *laughing*

We all know the age old concept of yawning being “contagious,” but no one knows why.  Long, long ago (and it’s still being hauled out), is the chimpanzee example as a proposed model.  I’m not even going to bother mentioning it here.  This Post is going to be purely human-based.

So, any news on us? Well! It seems some people have lots to say since I’ve last looked into it.  And bloody hell! Just like anything else that is theoretical? *PA crosses eyes* Get your eyes ready! Although, I’m not going to overload you with links.  I promise.  Also, get your ears ready as I’m going to do some “Asperger’s/Spectrum Bitching!”  Just a touch, but I’ve bitched about this point before.

As always, The Almighty Wiki is a great place to start.  Have a look here for some Proposed Causes and Contagion.  Now, what I found rather exciting is the references based upon the bean! How could I have not?! It actually brought back a forgotten remnant.  One theory is that yawning is caused by certain neurotransmitters like…? You guessed it! Those that affect us to try and keep us all mellow when we go mental with our “Happy Pills.”  Or, just the ones that exist in our heads, regardless.  I remember yawning so much when I was taking Effexor/Venlafaxine! No, I really did!

There are many other “Proposed Causes,” but I will not go further.  Let’s move on to some “Contagion.”  In the same vein as well, to keep things relatively on track for where I wish to go, more “brain stuff.” I also do not want to start yawning, and go to sleep myself! This is where I’m about to get into my “Asperger’s/Spectrum Bitching,” as well.  However, I think I can curtail it a bit, via confusion! Imagine that? Confusion serving a purpose?! Well, wonders never cease!

One idea about contagious yawning in the above link, is that it may have something to do with Mirror neurons in the brain.  I have mentioned them here, but not within the context of this Post.  Okay, here comes the “Asperger’s/Spectrum Bitching!” Also within that link (and so much more out there on the Internet), is this garbage about those on the Spectrum not doing the “Yawn Contagion Thing.”  This is because it has so much to do with empathy. Oh, here we go again…  Do not get me started with this fucking, empathy bullshit, yet another time!!! People on the Spectrum can experience empathy whether they goddamn well contagiously yawn or anything else!!!


So, then.  About these Mirror neurons.  Within this link, the folks at Wiki may have done some roundabout, funky, semi-twisty, confusatory business.  This may curtail my “Asperger’s/Spectrum Bitching.”  It states there, that: However the connection between mirror neuron dysfunction and autism remains speculative and it is unlikely that mirror neurons are related to many of the important characteristics of autism.[3]

HA! Everyone, go ahead and kiss my little, Aspie Ass! *laughing*

In closing, I’m going to leave you with something personal that has also made me think.  This is more about me being an Aspie and contagious behaviour.  I’ve noticed that when people laugh, I tend to laugh as well, right after they do.  I do it after them immediately, even when I don’t find anything funny–especially when I don’t find anything funny.  That’s the whole point.  For example, in a movie theatre.  Is it a “social cue,” thing? Is it a “contagious,” thing? I tend to think it’s the former but I’m not sure…

I also yawn a lot in movie theatres, and when I leave them.  I always find them cold.  That’s another theory for why we yawn: body temperature regulation. *grins*


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