01. Introduction
02. Grammar/Activities:
03. Reading Section
04 Listening Section:
05. Speaking Section:
06. Writing Section:
07 Final TOEFL tests

Listening Test 1.12


Professor – Let’s now look at the act of yawning. Yawning is commonly associated with tiredness, stress, overwork, lack of stimulation, and boredom. The recent studies show it may be linked to the cooling of the brain. For humans, yawning is often triggered by others’ yawning, and is a typical example of positive feedback. This infectious yawning has also been observed in chimpanzees and dogs. For animals, yawning can serve as a warning signal. For example, Charles Darwin, in his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals mentions that baboons yawn to threaten their enemies, possibly by displaying large canine teeth. Similarly, Siamese fighting fish yawn only when they see an animal of the same species or their own mirror image and their yawn often accompanies aggressive attack. Guinea pigs also yawn in a display of dominance or anger, displaying their impressive incisor teeth. This is often accompanied by teeth chattering, purring, and scent marking. Adelie penguins enjoy yawning as part of their courtship ritual. Penguin couples face off and the males engage in what is described as an ecstatic display, opening their beaks, and pointing their faces skyward. This trait has also been seen among Emperor Penguins. Researchers have been attempting to discover why these two different species share this trait, despite not sharing a habitat. Furthermore, snakes yawn, both to realign their jaws after a meal and for respiratory reasons, as their trachea can be seen to expand when they do this. Dogs often yawn after seeing people yawn, and when they feel uncertain. Some cultures lend yawning to spiritual reasons. The ancient Greeks and classic Maya believed that yawning was a sign that a person’s soul was trying to escape from his or her body. Covering the mouth when yawning might then prevent the soul from escaping. Exorcists believe that yawning can indicate that a demon or possessive spirit is leaving its human host during the course of an exorcism. Several superstitions have developed regarding the act of yawning and the harm that the act can do to the individual who is yawning. These superstitions may not only have arisen to prevent people from committing the faux pas of yawning loudly in another’s presence. One of Mason Cooley’s aphorisms is, “a yawn is more disconcerting than a contradiction.” Considering how frequent a role yawning plays in our daily life, it would seem to be a surprise that hardly anything concrete is known about it. Most likely, science will continue to prove and disprove a way the phenomenon all animals experience consciously or not. Typically, unnoticed mystery is the testament to how the most common occurrences can yield the greatest questions. It wouldn’t be a long shot to say that mind will be the last frontier for man to conquer.