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Author Topic: WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT  (Read 16380 times)

tamster

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WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« on: 24/11/2004 05:16:02 »

:o)
okay....even my neurology prof can't figure this one out...
why do we stick our tongues out when we concentrate?
i can't thread a needle without doing it.  my brother in law can't back up a car without doing it?
how come?
my theory is, by using the tongue muscle, you pull on certain nerves that initiate stronger thought patterns, hence, aiding in the concentration process...what's your theory?
the tamster

chris

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Re: WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #1 on: 24/11/2004 10:23:00 »
My wife does this, but I don't !

It's an interesting question and it occurs to me that perhaps the phenomenon is allied to the observation that people often look off to one side when trying to concentrate, or to recall a distant memory :

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/davidgamoncolumn.htm

In this article David Gamon argues that when tackling 'hard' questions our gaze deviates in order to reduce the number of distractions (i.e. the sensory load that the brain is coping with) so more cognitive effort can be put into dealing with the task at hand.

It occurs to me that by shoving your tongue between your teeth and out of your mouth it comes into contact with fewer things (like teeth, dentures or interesting tastes) and hence you are reducing  your sensory input, helping you to keep your attention focused on the task you are trying to complete.

Not proven, I'm sure, but certainly a plausible hypothesis.

Chris

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Raedon

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Re: WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #2 on: 25/11/2004 16:32:49 »
I wonder about this stuff as well.

Why do we look upward when we go into some sort of deep thought?

Why do we wink?  Is it something that all cultures do?




chris

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Re: WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #3 on: 25/11/2004 17:07:32 »
Have a look at David Gamon's column - http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/davidgamoncolumn.htm - I suspect that up-gaze is similar.

Chris

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gsmollin

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Re: WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #4 on: 25/11/2004 21:35:55 »
I read a paper once that claimed it was "body language", that was meant to send a signal that we were not to be interrupted, and we would not be talking during this interval.

chris

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Re: WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #5 on: 26/11/2004 08:04:25 »
It's quite hard to disprove that, although there are many other cues that a person is concentrating and does not wish to be disturbed, which make the tongue bit of it redundant.

Maybe jamming your mouth up with your tongue forces nasal breathing which helps some people to concentrate calmly ?!

Chris

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neilep

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Re: WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #6 on: 26/11/2004 11:19:10 »
Same can be said for rubbing your chin, and placing one had on your waist (love handle)...I personally just hang my 'do not disturb' sign around my neck !

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'

tamster

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Re: WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #7 on: 01/12/2004 06:36:06 »
fascinating.
thanks guys.
-tamster

jwilliams

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WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #8 on: 13/02/2009 20:25:39 »
OK so I read an answer to why we stick out our tongues when focusing on problems.  It was written by Desmond Morris psychologist/biologist/all-round fascinating author.
It goes back to when you're a baby feeding at your mother's breast.  If you don't want anymore food, you stick out your tongue and it pushes the breast away.   If the baby is full, the tongue sometimes stays out, as a visual signal to the mom that it is full and doesn't need any more milk.  The mom unconsciously or not backs off from trying to feed the baby.
As children and adults, we often stick our tongues out when concentrating really hard on a project.  The tongue may actually stick out of the mouth, or it may be between the teeth, with lips closed.  Often the person doing it doesn't know they are doing it.  The person viewing it may not consciously see the tongue either.  But it is a visual cue to 'back off', leave well enough alone.  Experimenting with tongue-stickers, a teacher gave a classroom full of students an exam.  Unknown to the students, one of the questions on the exam was incorrectly written and couldn't be answered.  The exam monitor sat at his desk in front of the classroom and for one hour showed his tongue slightly between his lips, then for a second hour tucked his tongue back in.  Each student who went up to the desk to get an answer to the weird question on the exam, looked at the monitor, unconsciously saw the tongue, and wither walked back to their desk without asking, or waited until the monitor tucked his tongue back in.  In the second hour, all students who approached the desk had no problem immediately asking about the question.

So, this is a behaviourial trait genetic in origin, and one all cultures and peoples have.  Sticking out the tongue says to anyone who approaches, 'Stay away.  I'm busy.  I'm concentrating.  I'm full." !!!

JnA

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WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #9 on: 14/02/2009 02:53:53 »
There is a theory that chewing gum helps one study. But if you chew gum while you are studying, you also need to chew gum while you are taking the exam (or doing the task). Maybe the tongue thing is related to the same idea.

"Research has found that chewing gum stimulates certain areas of the brain (as measured by EEG), which may have a relationship to reducing tension. In addition, one study conducted in 2002 showed that chewing gum appeared to improve people's ability to retain and retrieve information."

however.. I believe the study was sponsored by Wrigley.. so it's a bit like a study on how smoking is good for you sponsored by the Marlborough Man

Chemistry4me

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WHY DO WE STICK OUT TONGUES OUT
« Reply #10 on: 14/02/2009 05:25:03 »
Really? Chewing gum improves people's ability to retain and retrieve information :o
Whoops, I forgot to read the last line.
There was something in the news which mentioned that soccer players who squeeze tennis balls in their hand(s) makes their aim better. But that study was probably funded by Wilson...:D

 

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