Arachnophobia DNA: Evolutionary requirement part of Human Survival Insticnt, Study

Researchers say that our ancestors established the ability to see and recognize spiders quickly as part of an essential survival instinct.

According to a new practical research, the fear of spiders could be something that is in our nature rather than something we acquire.

Research implies that Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, could be distributed into our DNA as an outcome of survival instincts improved by our ancestors million of years ago in Africa.

The research implies that spiders caused such a potent threat to the existence of the first humans that the talent to notice such creatures became and evolutionary requirement.

According to scientists this might elucidate why people have this deep rooted and ridiculous fear of harmless household spiders these days.

At the Columbia University in New York they conducted a study on testing how fast people were able to recognize a spider when dealing with a range of other stimuli.

Over 250 people were asked to study about computer screens having conceptualize shapes and data and then pictures known to cause fear were presented to test reaction speed.

The study found that people were clever enough to pick out unique spider shapes quickly.

One theory is that some of the most hazardous spiders would have been kinds like the black widow, which are few and hard to spot, so being aware of the danger became a part of an ancestral survival instinct.

Mr New said: “A number of spider species with strong poisons populated Africa long before hominids… and have lived there for tens of millions of years.

“Individuals were at recurrent, random and significant risk of meeting highly venomous spiders in their ancestral environments.

“Even when not lethal, a black widow spider bite in the ancestral world could leave one disabled for days or even weeks, terribly open to dangers.”

He added: “Detection, therefore, is the critical influence of success in such encounters — any improvements to the sensitivity, vigilance, reliability and speed of faculties for their detection would have been of significant selective advantage.”


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