The Surprising Science Behind Why and When We Yawn : The New Yorker: "In 1923, Sir Francis Walshe, a British neurologist, noticed something interesting while testing the reflexes of patients who were paralyzed on one side of their bodies. When they yawned, they would spontaneously regain their motor functions. In case after case, the same thing happened; it was as if, for the six or so seconds the yawn lasted, the patients were no longer paralyzed. What’s more, Walshe reported that some of his patients had noticed “that when the fingers are extended and abducted during a yawn, they are able to flex and extend them rapidly, a thing they were unable to do at any other time. Indeed, one man added that he always waited for a yawn so that he might exercise his fingers in this way.”"
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