Pathways to yawning: making sense of the Thompson cortisol hypothesis

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Simon B. N. Thompson


Yawning apparatus and the exact location of the yawn reflex remains controversial. Yet yawning is a significant behavioural response that may potentially be a new diagnostic marker of neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis. Evidence of brain cooling following yawning supports the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis which postulates the association between cortisol, electrical nerve activity and yawning within the known stress-response system, the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal-axis. Changes in cortisol levels are important because they present as a new potential diagnostic tool in the early diagnosis of neurological symptoms.

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THOMPSON, Simon B. N.. Pathways to yawning: making sense of the Thompson cortisol hypothesis. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], n. 3, june 2015. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 sep. 2017. doi:
Biomarker; Cortisol; Diagnosis; Neurological disorder; Pathways; Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis; Yawning
Research Articles


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