Scientists have learned why people are afraid of spiders and snakes

Scientists have learned why people are afraid of spiders and snakes

MOSCOW, October 23 — RIA Novosti. Fear of spiders and snakes is present in humans from a very early age, found scientists from the Institute of cognitive science and brain science, the max Planck Society.

The results of the study were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

During the experiments, the researchers showed six-month-babies images of flowers and spiders, while measuring the degree of pupil dilation. This figure indicates the level of production by the body of the hormone norepinephrine and thus allows to evaluate the stress. In parallel the same experiment, infants showed fish and snakes.

“When we showed the children images of spiders and snakes instead of flowers and fish of a similar size and coloring, those are much stronger than widened pupils,” quoted one of the study’s authors, neuroscientist Stefanie Hel portal Sciencealert.

So, when the babies looked at the images of spiders, their pupils dilate on average 0.14 mm, while the sight of the flower — only 0.03 of a millimeter.

The results show that the fear of spiders and snakes typical of people from a very early age and, apparently, developed as a result of evolution. “Like other primates, the human brain has mechanisms to recognize the object as a “spider” or “snake” and respond very quickly to them,” said Hel.