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Elephant Memory Trauma

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posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 04:31 PM
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Introduction

So the other day i did some research into an undisclosed field and found a rabbit hole of interest. I held my breath and jumped down, when i came back up i had 4000 years of mythological history i needed to summarize into one narrow point of view to fit in our simplistic minds.
So i looked around for the best option to summarize my research in, and the specie who got the honor was the magnificent elephant, i used them a lot in my research, mainly cause they are everything we are not, but try to achieve.
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Elephant cognition

Elephants manifest a wide variety of behaviors, including those associated with grief, learning, mimicry, play, altruism, use of tools, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, memory, and communication.


Elephants also have a very large and highly convoluted hippocampus, a brain structure in the limbic system that is much bigger than that of any human, primate or cetacean. The hippocampus (named after its resemblance to the seahorse, from the Greek ἱππόκαμπος, "seahorse" from ἵππος hippos, "horse" and κάμπος kampos, "sea monster") is a major component of the brains of humans and other vertebrates. Humans and other mammals have two hippocampi, one in each side of the brain.



The hippocampus belongs to the limbic system and plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, and in spatial memory that enables navigation.
So perhaps you would not be surprised to learn that just that portion of the emotion system of the brain (the “limbic system”) is in charge of transferring information into memory. From years of experiments and surgical experience, we now know that the main location for this transfer is a portion of the temporal lobe called the hippocampus.
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PTSD

We now know that elephants are sensitive souls, with strong bonds to their family members, a need for comfort and a long memory. So it should be no surprise that we've seen symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder among elephants who go through a tragedy, such as witnessing a family member being killed by poachers. Calves orphaned by poachers will show PTSD-like symptoms even decades later. Elephants released from abusive situations show symptoms of PTSD long after they've found safety in a sanctuary. Brain regions that are felt to play an important role in PTSD include hippocampus, amygdala, and medial prefrontal cortex



Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats on a person's life. Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid trauma-related cues, alterations in how a person thinks and feels, and increased arousal. These symptoms last for more than a month after the event. Young children are less likely to show distress but instead may express their memories through play.


"Events or 'stressors' that underlie the development of PTSD include threat of death; physical abuse; deprivation; torture; isolation; forced incarceration (captivity); and witnessing the loss, death or threat of death to a loved one. All elephants in captivity have experienced most, if not all, of these events," write researchers G.A. Bradshaw and Lorin Lindner.

This is one reason why culls and poaching have a profound impact on surviving elephants. “A death of an individual has an impact, on the family, within the community,” trans-species psychologist Bradshaw told Here and Now. “But when that keeps happening over and over and over and over, in increasing numbers, you start to get the entire fabric of the community, of the population, of the net, falling apart. You have a sustained psychological trauma, and then you do not have any of the traditional healing structures of the elephant family and culture.”
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Source

Hippocampus
Elephant Cognition
Elephant - PTSD
PTSD
edit on 20161228 by tikbalang because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 28 2016 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: tikbalang

Elephants are smart , I have no doubt they suffer stress and trauma due to things they see and experience largely down to one mindless predator.



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