Navigation Links
The evolution of aversion: Why even children are fearful of snakes
Date:2/27/2008

Some of the oldest tales and wisest mythology allude to the snake as a mischievous seducer, dangerous foe or powerful iconoclast; however, the legend surrounding this proverbial predator may not be based solely on fantasy. As scientists from the University of Virginia recently discovered, the common fear of snakes is most likely intrinsic.

Evolutionarily speaking, early humans who were capable of surviving the dangers of an uncivilized society adapted accordingly. And the same can be said of the common fear of certain animals, such as spiders and snakes: The ancestors of modern humans were either abnormally lucky or extraordinarily capable of detecting and deterring the threat of, for example, a poisonous snake.

Psychologists Vanessa LoBue and Judy DeLoache were able to show this phenomenon by examining the ability of adults and children to pinpoint snakes among other nonthreatening objects in pictures.

We wanted to know whether preschool children, who have much less experience with natural threats than adults, would detect the presence of snakes as quickly as their parents, LoBue explained. If there is an evolved tendency in humans for the rapid detection of snakes, it should appear in young children as well as their elders.

Preschool children and their parents were shown nine color photographs on a computer screen and were asked to find either the single snake among eight flowers, frogs or caterpillars, or the single nonthreatening item among eight snakes. As the study surprisingly shows, parents and their children identified snakes more rapidly than they detected the other stimuli, despite the gap in age and experience.

The results, which appear in the March 2008 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, may provide the first evidence of an adapted, visually-stimulated fear mechanism in humans.


'/>"/>

Contact: Katie Kline
kkline@psychologicalscience.org
202-783-2077
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Evolution is driven by gene regulation
2. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
3. Adaptation to parasites drive African fishes along different evolutionary paths
4. Uncertainty drives the evolution of cooperative breeding in birds
5. Structure of 450 million year old protein reveals evolutions steps
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Hidden interactions between predators and prey: evolution causes cryptic dynamics in ecology
8. Migrating squid drove evolution of sonar in whales and dolphins, researchers argue
9. Old developmental pathways spawn revolutionary evolutionary changes
10. Systems Biology poised to revolutionize the understanding of cell function and disease
11. Using evolution, UW team creates a template for many new therapeutic agents
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The evolution of aversion: Why even children are fearful of snakes
(Date:5/16/2017)... -- Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative and ... solutions, announced today they will participate as a sponsor ... May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions of ... digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly every ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging ... server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A ... Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan ... at the Las Vegas Convention Center April ... Click here for ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... beneficial microbe delivery system, announced it has secured $2M in funding from an ... City Angels, Carmen Innovations, and SVG Thrive Fund. With this investment, 3Bar is ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... spending the past two years building a state-of-the-art technology which consolidates ... this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, foundations, biopharma companies etc.) who ... vis a vis their members, under their own brand. Three recent ... ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... unmet need that has compromised these disciplines for more than half a century. ... cannot be counted. It is widely known that molecular tags developed for this ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... shopping cart. Now mobile responsive, the new website makes it easy to navigate ... in between. Users can now find detailed product information, educational industry content and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: