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Why Do People Fear Spiders and Snakes? Researchers Revealed Its Origin

Why Do People Fear Spiders and Snakes? Researchers Revealed Its Origin
Why Do People Fear Spiders and Snakes? Researchers Revealed Its Origin

If one day you meet a spider or snake and feel frightened, it is something reasonable. A study revealed if it had been since birth we are afraid of the two animals.
Already long ago, arachnophobia or fear of spiders and animals belonging to this arachnid group is indeed disputed. Is it true that the fear is embedded within us or not.
Disturbing questions are then tried answered by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany. They then conducted a study involving an unusual participant, a human baby. The human baby is considered neutral and they are not suspicious of anything. There is a series of images shown to the baby.
First, researchers show images of spiders to six-month-old infants to find out their response to arachnids, a group of invertebrate animals that include spiders and scorpions.
In addition to pictures of spiders, the baby is also shown with a picture of flowers. Furthermore, in separate experiments, infants were also shown a series of snake and fish images.
The results of the study revealed that the baby pupil widened whenever seen spiders and snakes. This indicates high levels of norepinephrine that can help measure the stress response.
"When we showed a picture of a spider or snake to the babies, their pupils reacted much bigger," said Stefanie Hoehl, a neurologist at the Max Planck Institute, as quoted by Science Alert.

"Under constant light conditions, changing the size of the pupil is an important signal for the activation of the noradrenergic system in the brain, which is responsible for stress," he explained.
When viewing the spider, the pupillary dilation rate is 0.14 mm while when the infant sees the pupil's response interest enlarges 0.03 mm. While when shown snake and fish images, the response is not too significant when compared to seeing spiders and snakes.
How can a baby look stressful at snakes and spiders?
Although researchers have not been able to explain in detail how this mechanism can occur but researchers believe if the fear of these two animals is a long process that occurred since our ancestors.
"We conclude that this fear of spiders and snakes is an evolution," explained Hoehl. "Similar to primates, our brain mechanisms make it possible to identify objects as spiders or snakes and react to them very quickly," he added.
The study has been published in Frontiers in Psychology.
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