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Whenever someone yawns near you, you may find it near impossible not to yawn.
New studies found the reason we battle to stop a yawn appears to reside in the brain area that's responsible for motor function. The urge to yawn when you see someone else doing it is known as echophenomenon - the automatic imitation of another person. Other types of echophenomena include echolalia - imitation of words, and echopraxia - imitations of actions.
The urge to yawn increases when you try to stop yourself from doing so.
The tendency to yawn in return is linked to brain activity levels in a person's motor cortex. The more activity in the area, the more likely the person would be to yawn.
Misophonia is characterized by strong negative emotions such as anger and anxiety in response to everyday sounds other people make. These sounds include humming, chewing, typing, and even breathing.
People with this disorder are not just getting annoyed at the sounds. They suffer breakdowns in relationships or even quitting their jobs.
Scientists do not fully understand misophonia but suspect it's caused by the way some people's brains process particular sounds and react to them.
Some studies found that the brains of people with misophonia showed hyperactivation of the salience network, a group of brain areas that direct our attention to important things in our surroundings. Trigger sounds send the salience network into an overdrive. Researchers found these brain areas are structurally more robust in people with misophonia.
There's a lot of similarity between people who experience misophonia, but also a lot of diversity.
Therapists use a variety of techniques that is often based on the symptoms. Those who experience fear and anxiety may respond to exposure-based treatments. Those who experience anger can learn to manage their distress through distraction or relaxation techniques.