Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Human Brains Are Primally Wired To Notice Animals

image credit

Surrounded by technology and urbanity we may be, but the human brain remains profoundly hard-wired for responding to animals. When people are shown pictures of animals, specific parts of their amygdalas - a structure central to pleasure and pain, fear and reward - react almost instantly.

Put another way, glimpsing a bird at the feeder or a shark on Animal Planet could invoke cognitive tricks inherited from ancestors who walked on four legs in shallow water.

1 comment(s):

Gareth said...

Sorry, but I don't believe most humans are wired to notice animals. Whenever I'm out and about in the country I notice wildlife, and yet people around me don't.

"Hey, look at that fox/owl/weasel/deer*"

"What? Where? No, I must have missed it."

On a beach on Great Blasket last year there were upwards of a dozen seals within yards of the shore. It was amazing how many tourists walked right by.