Kind of cool, an article “Simians are also spooked by snakes” by S. Dingfelder shows that there might be deep evolutionary roots of snake phobias in humans. Drs. Masahiro Shibasaki and Nobuyuki Kawai of Nagoya University found laboratory raised macaque monkeys who had never been exposed to snakes before, were quicker to point pictures of them out versus pictures of flowers. Although the time difference wasn’t incredible (0.1 secs), it may be enough for the monkeys to escape harm. What is interesting is how they have never been exposed to snakes before! Its kind of amazing how such adaptive schemas can be inherited through generations. Its also neat how they suggested that the speed increases were possibly because of rerouting of neural circuits, completely bypassing the cerebral cortex and going straight to the amygdala, thus resulting in quick behavior without conscious thought processes hindering time. Neato.
In terms of group psychology, it reminds me of how particular tasks are enhanced in speed within the presence of others. I remember writing about this awhile ago, I can’t remember if this specifically which concept this was called (I don’t think it was necessarily part of Robert Zajonc’s theory), but it stated that the heightened awareness of people in social settings allows for quicker responses for simple habitual behavior, such that its a survival adaptation given the potentially unstable nature of groups. I know that part of the increased speed is simply being already stimulated and having half of the circuit completed nerve wise, but I wonder if there is also some complete circuit bypassing like that suggested with the amygdala. Neat.
I had coffee twice yesterday with some of my good friends and it was great. I don’t think I have ever drunk that much stimulant in such a short time (for the record, McDonald’s is a very budget friendly way to coffee it up, given the super sweet McDeal with the refillable coffee and muffin, not to mention the decent quality of coffee) and I kind of regret drinking that green tea latte (really I don’t think I like it, I am not ordering that one again-pretty much no flavor, just like the fricken London Fog) as its not sitting awesomely well with me. Such good conversations! Fanks friends.
I am looking forward to working out when I get up in like 8 hrs. Today is bicep day, and I am eager to see how I am sitting with the 55lbs curls. It should be challenging, but fun! I also really really need to get some things off my mind with the weights. Le sigh.