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The Smell of Fear

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posted on May, 17 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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The Smell of Fear

I thought this was an incredibly interesting article. Though the work was performed in mice, it might also have implications for human behaviour. It seems mice have innate, species-specific neurons that are triggered by proteins given off by specific species of predators, namely cats and snakes. Once the predator-protein binds the specific neuron receptor, it triggers a fight-or-flight (sympathetic) response, allowing the mouse to flee before being gobbled up.

Maybe this explains my intense, nearly phobia-level fear of snakes!




posted on May, 17 2010 @ 05:24 PM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


Thanks for posting this ..... very interesting .


I wonder did we develop any similar olfactory autonomic responses at some point in our evolution . Do we still have the remnants of some now- defunct vestigial system, which once identified our predators?
I believe of all our senses , the sense of smell is the most `direct`,with its signal transmitted with little or no reroutes and relays.This is probably an indicator of the importance this sense once had at some distant point along our evolutionary path .

It would be interesting to know if some human anxieties and stresses were exacerbated by the scent of some archaic signal/ source of fear. Registering subconsciously on our minds ....



posted on May, 17 2010 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


I have no doubt we've retained at least some rudimentary autonomic "predator-response" system. Though, it would certainly be interesting to expose infants to images or video of certain creatures, like snakes, spiders, insects, and a few nasty mammals, and see if they have any sort of response. Hopefully, this would allow us to rule out learned behaviour and rule in an innate fear mechanism.

Food for thought, I suppose


[edit on 5/17/2010 by VneZonyDostupa]



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