Is fear inherited?

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Shen1986
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Is fear inherited?

Postby Shen1986 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:52 am

A new study suggests there is a genetic imprint from traumatic experiences carries through at least two generations.

Certain fears can be inherited through the generations, a provocative study of mice reports1. The authors suggest that a similar phenomenon could influence anxiety and addiction in humans. But some researchers are sceptical of the findings because a biological mechanism that explains the phenomenon has not been identified.

Ressler and his colleague Brian Dias opted to study epigenetic inheritance in laboratory mice trained to fear the smell of acetophenone, a chemical the scent of which has been compared to those of cherries and almonds. He and Dias wafted the scent around a small chamber, while giving small electric shocks to male mice. The animals eventually learned to associate the scent with pain, shuddering in the presence of acetophenone even without a shock.

This reaction was passed on to their pups, Dias and Ressler report today in Nature Neuroscience1. Despite never having encountered acetophenone in their lives, the offspring exhibited increased sensitivity when introduced to its smell, shuddering more markedly in its presence compared with the descendants of mice that had been conditioned to be startled by a different smell or that had gone through no such conditioning. A third generation of mice — the ‘grandchildren’ — also inherited this reaction, as did mice conceived through in vitro fertilization with sperm from males sensitized to acetophenone. Similar experiments showed that the response can also be transmitted down from the mother.


Taken from: http://doubtfulnews.com/2013/12/is-fear ... mechanism/

This is interesting but there is still time to wait:

The findings are contentious. While the proposal is astounding – one observer called it “the most rigorous and convincing set of studies published to date demonstrating acquired transgenerational epigenetic effects in a laboratory model” – the rest of the community is stumped by the lack of a mechanism for this “memory” to be transmitted. This is important because without a plausible mechanism, some other factor could account for the results. Science is conservative. Skepticism (which is of critical importance in scientific discussions) will continue until the molecular mechanisms can be detailed and that could be a while.


Taken from: http://doubtfulnews.com/2013/12/is-fear ... mechanism/
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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Poodle » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:24 pm

I don't know, and I'm scared to ask.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:43 pm

Poodle wrote:I don't know, and I'm scared to ask.

Were/ are your parents scared to ask too?
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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Poodle » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:03 pm

I never asked them.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby clarsct » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:41 am

As it comes from a site names 'doubtfulnews', I am doubtful.


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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Shen1986 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:28 pm

Its even on wikipedia:

One study indicates that traumatic experiences can produce fearful memories which are passed to future generations via epigenetics. A study carried out on mice in 2013 found that mice could produce offspring which had an aversion to certain items which had been the source of negative experiences for their ancestors. [85] [86] Reports stated that:

For the study, author Brian Dias and co-author Kerry Ressler trained mice, using foot shocks, to fear an odour that resembles cherry blossoms. Later, they tested the extent to which the animals' offspring startled when exposed to the same smell. The younger generation had not even been conceived when their fathers underwent the training, and had never smelt the odour before the experiment.

The offspring of trained mice were "able to detect and respond to far less amounts of odour... suggesting they are more sensitive" to it, Ressler told AFP of the findings published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.They did not react the same way to other odours, and compared to the offspring of non-trained mice, their reaction to the cherry blossom whiff was about 200 percent stronger, he said.
The scientists then looked at a gene, M71, that governs the functioning of an odour receptor in the nose that responds specifically to the cherry blossom smell. The gene, inherited through the sperm of trained mice, had undergone no change to its DNA encoding, the team found. But the gene did carry epigenetic marks that could alter its behaviour and cause it to be "expressed more" in descendants, said Dias.This in turn caused a physical change in the brains of the trained mice, their sons and grandsons, who all had a larger glomerulus—a section in the olfactory (smell) unit of the brain.


Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics

It has not been replicated but there have been similar studies. However if it is even true then its nothing shocking because it is ok with evolution and even with genes itself. During a long time this can become a part of your brain like in monkeys:

...."The results show that the brain has special neural circuits to detect snakes, and this suggests that the neural circuits to detect snakes have been genetically encoded," Nishijo said.


Taken from: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=21799

Its all in the genes and it makes even sense thanks to evolution and inherited phobias or alcoholism. So there is no need for woo like this:

Family Constellations is a therapeutic method which draws on elements of family systems therapy, existential phenomenology and Zulu attitudes to family.[1] In a single session, a Family Constellation attempts to reveal a previously unrecognized systemic dynamic that spans multiple generations in a given family and to resolve the deleterious effects of that dynamic by encouraging the subject to accept the factual reality of the past.

Family Constellations diverges significantly from conventional forms of cognitive, behaviour and psychodynamic psychotherapy. The method has been described as quantum quackery, and its founder Bert Hellinger incorporates the pseudoscientific idea of morphic resonance into his explanation of it. Positive outcomes from the therapy have been attributed to conventional explanations such as suggestion and empathy


Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Constellations

This woo is not needed because it is presented by people like this guy, Bert Hellinger:

Adolf Hitler[edit]

Hellinger created controversy in writing a poem dedicated to Adolf Hitler which asks the reader to identify something of themselves in Hitler and to respect that part of themselves. Several articles related to this appeared in the Dutch antifascist magazine "Alert!".[10]
Incest[edit]

Hellinger's position on Incest that the perpetrator should not be punished is regarded as questionable in the therapeutic community and is summarized by this quote taken from one of his recent books:

Now about incest. If you are confronted with cases of incest, a very common dynamic is that the wife withdraws from her husband, she refuses a sexual relationship. Then, as a kind of compensation, a daughter takes her place. This is an unconscious movement, not a conscious one. But you see, with incest there are two perpetrators, one in the background and one in the open. You cannot resolve that unless this hidden perpetrator is brought in. There are very strange sentences that come to light. The daughter can tell her mother, "I do it for you." And she can tell her father, "I do it for mother." What is the effect of these sentences? Incest cannot go on anymore. If you want to stop it, this is the best way without any accusations.

If you bring a perpetrator to justice, then the victim will atone for what is done to the perpetrator."

Hellinger goes on to tell a story of an incest/abuse victim who became suicidal, because the perpetrator was prosecuted.[11]
Other controversial positions taken by Hellinger[edit]
A breast cancer victim may secretly want to die due to a woman's unconscious "war with her mother."
Homosexuality may result because a boy unconsciously assumes the feelings of a deceased aunt or great aunt when there are no female descendants in the lineal family system.
Rape and incest create a bond; the perpetrator must receive "due respect" before the victim can bond with another.[12][13][14][15]
Literature critical of Hellinger[edit]
Elisabeth Reuter: Gehirn-Wäsche. Macht und Willkür in der "systemischen Psychotherapie" nach Bert Hellinger. Nachwort von Klaus Weber. Berlin / Eugene / Shrewsbury: Antipsychiatrieverlag 2005. ISBN 978-3-925931-40-6.


Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bert_Hellinger

I posted doubtful news because it shows a skeptical look on this research. I am not claiming its true but even when its true it does not mean that Sheldrake is right:

Morphic resonance is the connection across time from past to present. Each species has a kind of memory that gives them their form.


Taken from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AOWPbPDitQ

Or here:

Sheldrake says he first conceived of the idea while at Cambridge, before his travel to India where he would later develop it. He attributes the origin of his morphic resonance idea to two influences: his studies of the holistic tradition in biology, and French philosopher Henri Bergson's book Matter and Memory. He says he took Bergson's concept of memories not being materially embedded in the brain and generalised it to morphic resonance, where memories are not only immaterial but also under the influence of the collective past memories of similar organisms. While his colleagues at Cambridge were not receptive to the idea, Sheldrake found the opposite to be true in India. He recounts his Indian colleagues saying, "There's nothing new in this, it was all known millennia ago to the ancient rishis." Sheldrake thus characterises morphic resonance as a convergence between Western and Eastern thought, having originated in the West and developed in the East.[5][109]


Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphic_re ... _resonance

Or here from his own web-site:

What are morphic fields? How do they fit into your hypothesis of formative causation?

The Hypothesis of Formative Causation states that the forms of self-organizing systems are shaped by morphic fields. Morphic fields organize atoms, molecules, crystals, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, societies, ecosystems, planetary systems, solar systems, galaxies. In other words, they organize systems at all levels of complexity, and are the basis for the wholeness that we observe in nature, which is more than the sum of the parts. For a more formal definition of morphic fields, see the Glossary
According to the Hypothesis of Formative Causation, morphic fields also contain an inherent memory given by the process of morphic resonance, whereby each kind of thing has a collective memory. For example, crystals of a given kind are influenced by all past crystals of that kind, date palms by past date palms, giraffes by past giraffes, etc. In the human realm this is similar to Jung's theory of the collective unconscious. For morphic resonance see Glossary.
In the realm of developmental biology the morphic fields that shape the growing organisms are called morphogenetic fields; in social organization they can be called social fields; and the organization of mental activity they can be called mental fields. But all these kinds of fields are particular kinds of morphic fields, and all are shaped and stabilized by morphic resonance. For a fuller description of the Hypothesis of Formative Causation see my books A New Science of Life, which is quite brief and somewhat technical, or my book The Presence of the Past which is longer, but less technical, and more complete.


Taken from: http://www.sheldrake.org/Resources/faq/answers.html

Sheldrakes Morphic resonance is nothing more then just a field of immaterial memories that are giving shape to organism and all these memories are shared and connected with each other if I got it right. The research however shows that genes transfer fears and mechanism to survive. That means it creates a phobia to survive. Also it has not been replicated and there is a second problem it is from parent to child or grandchild and this trait can in other generations pass away or totally disappear. Another problem is this:

morphic resonance, where memories are not only immaterial but also under the influence of the collective past memories of similar organisms.


Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphic_re ... _resonance

Its from the influence of the collective past memories. That means all memories and not just one. These mice were trained and it pasted on their genes but only this train and not all of them. If this would be the case then the children would know all from birth that means all of the abilities a rat has from his parents and would not need no training at all.

He is even claiming it here:

According to the Hypothesis of Formative Causation, morphic fields also contain an inherent memory given by the process of morphic resonance, whereby each kind of thing has a collective memory. For example, crystals of a given kind are influenced by all past crystals of that kind, date palms by past date palms, giraffes by past giraffes, etc. In the human realm this is similar to Jung's theory of the collective unconscious.


Taken from: http://www.sheldrake.org/Resources/faq/answers.html
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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby SweetPea » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:58 pm

the rest of the community is stumped by the lack of a mechanism for this “memory” to be transmitted.


My guess is that a better review and checking on the study stats and method would quickly explain how the results were achieved.

As for "the rest of the community", if that's truly all they had to offer, it might just show that they are not all that eager to demonstrate once again how feeble peer review is, in doing proper evaluation.
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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby clarsct » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:07 am

Hmm.

Interesting. Epigenetics is a new field and we're just now scratching the surface of it. I wouldn't mind seeing repeatability, though. It's one of those things that separates the science from the bollocks.

Almost makes me wish I had persevered with Biochem instead changing to Chem...almost.
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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby clarifyit4me » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:49 am

Epigenetics is another mode of thought, a theory; nonsensical and contradictory. If there is interdependence then there can be no thing in existence that has a particular cause; it is such that the universe as a whole is dependent on the least of its parts. Things are as they are because the universes is as if is.
What we have is chaotic, how can you apply causality in any capacity to such chaos?

An yes fear is inherited, we identify and take for ourselves that which cannot be real; the fear is loosing it.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Poodle » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:12 pm

clarifyit4me wrote:Epigenetics is another mode of thought, a theory; nonsensical and contradictory.


Histone modification is an observed, proven process. DNA methylation is an observed and proven process. Which of those two processes (or both, if you like) would lead to the conclusion that epigenetics is a nonsensical and contradictory theory?

I know absolutely zilch about genetics, apart from the basics. But a moment or two searching around the net gave me the confidence to question your assertion opinion.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby clarifyit4me » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:53 pm

[[/quote]

Histone modification is an observed, proven process. DNA methylation is an observed and proven process. [/quote]

This maybe the case, but what do they prove beyond the objectives? If you do not consider the subject in all of this then how can you reach a unified conclusion? Einstein's theory has hole in it and so i
does Darwin's . If you look properly you realise all theoretical nets are full of holes.

All experimentations are conducted in consciousness; consciousness is movement and by its very nature changeful. It does not matter what theoretical net you cast, it will always be full of holes and therefore contradictory. You may have a working theory of epigenetic for now but nothing stays the same; it will have to be modified

It is not a case of assertion or opinion, my stand point is beyond the subject object nexus, whilst your approach is purely objective. Opinions are variably attached to the mind and are valid as far as the objectives that govern them allow. There are as many people as there are opinions. But intelligence will tell you that the mind is limited to the condition in which it has been exposed to; in other word you will only know and understand according to the information available and the capacity to understand it. Once you step aside the minds orientation your field of view permeates further into the field of consciousness or rather you become more aware of yourself thus allowing the bigger picture to reveal itself.

You have search the internet and found what the others are saying, but what do you know? You only think you know; and this is only what you have read, heard or seen. But by all means question it, but there is no need to question me; ask yourself. If you are really honest, you will come to know that
you know very little that will be of any relevance to you. Since all knowledge acquired is the given.
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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Poodle » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:21 pm

I let you know that I'd looked it up to show you how easy it was to blow your arguments out of the water. Instead of accepting that, you come back with the biggest load of navel-gazing BS I've ever had the displeasure to read on this forum.

"If you look properly ..."
"... my stand point is beyond the subject object nexus, whilst your approach is purely objective."
"... your field of view permeates further into the field of consciousness".
"...you know very little that will be of any relevance to you ..."
"The only thing you can know for certain is that you exist."

This is all vacuous. There is not a shred of worth in any of those statements. They are all examples of the pseudo-intellectual rubbish, often found on the net, which is the refuge of the attention-seeking dimwit - which is what you apparently are.

If you have nothing to say, please say nothing. Further than that little gem of advice, I now leave you to the tender mercies of the members of this forum who are, I feel, in the process of ripping you to shreds.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby xenog » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:19 pm

I wonder if this has already been debunked. I have had the Nature article pointed out to me by a scientifically-minded friend, but I'm almost completely sure that the research there is bogus. Does anybody know after a few years if there is a good refutation to these findings to put the matter to rest? (Or confirmation that the findings are authentic, which I do not expect)

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby TJrandom » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:33 pm

I dunno - but surely those rats from 4 years ago have taken their secrets to the grave... A google on `genetically inherited fears` does not produce newer studies than those based around the time of the introduction of this thread.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:10 am

TJrandom wrote:I dunno - but surely those rats from 4 years ago have taken their secrets to the grave... A google on `genetically inherited fears` does not produce newer studies than those based around the time of the introduction of this thread.

So, you're a slave of Big Google now? :roll:
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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:11 am

Epigenetics is a reality.
DNA molecules are chemically modified, usually by addition of a methyl group, and this can be transferred down through several generations, and this change alters the way the gene is expressed.

A classic is the effect of starvation passed on to grandchildren. This was studied in Dutch people, where the grandmother was starved in world war II, and the effects were experienced in the grandchildren. The effects include an over-compensation with fatty tissue conserved, leading to obesity and the problems associated with obesity.

Epigenetic changes are not evolution, and the effects only appear to last a couple of generations, after which the methylation is lost, and the DNA returns to 'normal'.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby TJrandom » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:02 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
TJrandom wrote:I dunno - but surely those rats from 4 years ago have taken their secrets to the grave... A google on `genetically inherited fears` does not produce newer studies than those based around the time of the introduction of this thread.

So, you're a slave of Big Google now? :roll:


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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:49 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Epigenetics is a reality.
Yep. I had to read through all the mice, "inherited fear" and epigenetic papers for my debate with Zeuzzz. It's not exactly what we all think.

Firstly, the alternative gene set, that a current mother's environment "turns on" in her children, has to already have evolved as a sequence. Epigentics does not create any new gene sequences. That means the existing evolved epigenetic sequence may be an evolved response to a range of fears, anxieties, etc and not something specific. Alternative Epigenetic "turned on' sequences may vaguely give the child an advantage in that new environment.

Secondly, we know that some people definitely have inherited "fear genes" set off from environmental factors. Arachnophobia is a classic example.

Researchers Uncover Genetic Roots Of Fear Of Spiders
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/44425 ... MlwBm.dpuf

I suggest to forum members that animals have existing alternative "epigenetic fear gene sequences" as a legacy and in some circumstances the environment of the mother causes that alternative sequence to "turn on" in the mother's child.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:00 am

Epigenetics was, for me, a challenge to my belief system.

The mark of a truly rational person is the willingness to dump old beliefs if the evidence shows them to be wrong. The reason religious people are irrational is because they cling to old beliefs long after the evidence shows them to be incorrect.

I try to be rational, and I have all the weaknesses of being human. That means that if I have a fond belief, and it is proven wrong by good data, I struggle to dump the wrong belief. But my personal code requires that I do. In this context, the discovery of epigenetics and epigenetic principles were a challenge to me. When I did my university degree, I was taught a basis for heredity depending on DNA which changed only through mutation. The idea of epigenetics was difficult for me, since I had to modify my pre-existing beliefs and change them. But I managed.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby TJrandom » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:12 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:Epigenetics is a reality.
Yep. I had to read through all the mice, "inherited fear" and epigenetic papers for my debate with Zeuzzz. It's not exactly what we all think.

Firstly, the alternative gene set, that a current mother's environment "turns on" in her children, has to already have evolved as a sequence. Epigentics does not create any new gene sequences. That means the existing evolved epigenetic sequence may be an evolved response to a range of fears, anxieties, etc and not something specific. Alternative Epigenetic "turned on' sequences may vaguely give the child an advantage in that new environment.

Secondly, we know that some people definitely have inherited "fear genes" set off from environmental factors. Arachnophobia is a classic example.

Researchers Uncover Genetic Roots Of Fear Of Spiders
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/44425 ... MlwBm.dpuf

I suggest to forum members that animals have existing alternative "epigenetic fear gene sequences" as a legacy and in some circumstances the environment of the mother causes that alternative sequence to "turn on" in the mother's child.


Thanks.... but, that linked article says nothing to support its title - that genetics are at play. I would like to know how they determined that genetics creates this fear.

I really know nothing in this area - but suspect that `fear` is being used inappropriately. Maybe it isn`t fear that is triggered by genetics - but rather discrimination between smells, sight of movements, etc., and we humans convert that to `fear`. For those mice, it might be `shivering`, the same as for cold weather, rather than fear.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:32 am

TJrandom wrote: I would like to know how they determined that genetics creates this fear.
Can we reword your question in a more general way?

"Is there evidence that genes have evolved to create an innate behaviour, in an animal, to respond in a particular way to a threat?"

"Human fear of spiders draws scientific focus"
https://phys.org/news/2015-04-human-spi ... focus.html


TJrandom wrote:Maybe it isn`t fear that is triggered by genetics - but rather discrimination between smells, sight of movements, etc., and we humans convert that to `fear`. For those mice, it might be `shivering`, the same as for cold weather, rather than fear.
I totally agree with what you are saying. I don't think "fear" is the right word. It is better described as a "range of behaviours" and that may or may not be objectively called a "fear" at all. :D

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby TJrandom » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:29 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
TJrandom wrote: I would like to know how they determined that genetics creates this fear.
Can we reword your question in a more general way?

"Is there evidence that genes have evolved to create an innate behaviour, in an animal, to respond in a particular way to a threat?"

"Human fear of spiders draws scientific focus"
https://phys.org/news/2015-04-human-spi ... focus.html


TJrandom wrote:Maybe it isn`t fear that is triggered by genetics - but rather discrimination between smells, sight of movements, etc., and we humans convert that to `fear`. For those mice, it might be `shivering`, the same as for cold weather, rather than fear.
I totally agree with what you are saying. I don't think "fear" is the right word. It is better described as a "range of behaviours" and that may or may not be objectively called a "fear" at all. :D


Yes, better - but still I don`t see the genetic involvement being proved. Even for the infants - which looked at spider images longer than houseflies or hypodermic needles - spiders being more complex, longer legs, etc., and thus possibly more interesting to an infant. I`d be interested in their `fear` reaction to photos of lions, bears, elephants, crocodiles, etc. - in comparison to spiders. I`d also be interested in spiders on nipples – granting a genetic predisposition to nurse (or die) and whether said spider was enough to prevent nursing by a hungry infant.

I remember being taught to look in shoes for spiders at about three years old - maybe supplemental to genetic fear, but still taught.

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:41 am

TJrandom wrote: Yes, better - but still I don`t see the genetic involvement being proved. Even for the infants - which looked at spider images longer than houseflies or hypodermic needles - spiders being more complex, longer legs, etc., and thus possibly more interesting to an infant. I`d be interested in their `fear` reaction to photos of lions, bears, elephants, crocodiles, etc. - in comparison to spiders.


This is going to be hard for me to find, but human children react to the shape of the shadow of an eagle shape going in one direction but not when the shape is going in the other direction and doesn't look like an eagle. My problem is that this was a text book from 35 years ago. ( I was studying anthropological prehistory (human evolution at the time).

Give me a week or so. I only found one paper on baboons doing this.


Abstract
The occurrence of reactions to shadows is reported in a captive group of Guinea baboons (Papio papio). While poorly defined shadows did not induce specific responses, baboon-like silhouettes cast on walls elicited aggressive responses. There was no evidence that baboons recognize one’s own shadow or are even aware that shadows have a physical referent.


Reactions to shadows in captive Guinea baboons (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... ea_baboons [accessed Mar 27, 2017].

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Re: Is fear inherited?

Postby TJrandom » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:47 am

You know I will not be satisfied... until you come up with the goods. :lol:


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