Wellcome Trust scientists have identified for the first time how our brain’s response changes the closer a threat gets.
From the article:
When faced with a threat – such as a large bear – humans, like other animals, alter their behaviour depending on whether the threat is close or distant. This is because different defence mechanisms are needed depending on whether, for example, the bear is fifty feet away, when being aware of its presence may be enough, or five feet away, when we might need to fight or run away.
To investigate what happens in the brain in such a situation, researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London created a game where subjects were chased through a maze by an artificial predator – if caught, they would receive a mild electric shock. The researchers then measured their brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
In short, the closer the threat, the more we rely on primitive behaviour for quick-response survival mechanisms (fight, flee, etc) instead of planning our response strategies to the threat.
Check Science Magazine for more on this.
Link via Boing Boing
Pink Tentacle reports about a video clip from Trivia no Izumi, in which you can see how frogs cope with severe indigestion.
After a disagreeable meal, a frog can empty its stomach by ejecting the entire organ inside-out through its mouth and washing it with its front legs before swallowing it back down.
Frog throws up his own stomach
The host of the show explains that a frog throws up in much the same way that humans do, but its stomach pops out because of its relatively wide and soft esophagus. Incidentally, some people believe frogs are right-handed because the ejected stomach protrudes to the right and they mainly use their right front leg to wash it.
Related: Adam Koford
, Ape Lad
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Posted in random posts
on Aug 10, 2007
Some interesting things I bookmarked on del.icio.us on August 9th, 2007:
- I’m Elton Johning Today – We’re pleased at CDM to introduce a new verb: to Elton John will hereby mean to unplug from the Web in order to do creative work.
- Largest-known planet befuddles scientists – The largest planet ever discovered is also one of the strangest and theoretically should not even exist, scientists say.
- Autodesk AliasStudio Personal Learning Edition – Autodesk® AliasStudio&trade Personal Learning Edition is a special version providing free access for non-commercial use. Autodesk AliasStudio Personal Learning Edition offers almost every feature included in the full commercial version of Autodesk® Studio
- Woodstock for sale – Mr. Yasgur, now a cultural icon, allowed 40 acres of his 1,100 acre farm in upstate New York, to be used for Woodstock, thus making the musical and cultural event of the century possible.
- Google News to add user comments – We wanted to give you a heads-up on a new, experimental feature we’ll be trying out on the Google News home page. Starting this week, we’ll be displaying reader comments on stories in Google News, but with a bit of a twist…
- Cornell University becomes newest partner in Library Project – “In its quest to be the world’s land-grant university, Cornell strives to serve the scholarly and research needs of those beyond the campus,” said Cornell President David J. Skorton.
- HTTP errors – Inspired by Goopymart’s “Teh Internets”, here’s an illustrated set of common http error codes for use on your blog or site or what have you.
- Memorial Sculptures – One-of-a-kind, hansculpted, newborn art dolls, created by artist J. Stocks-Dearborn.
- Boycott Regal Cinemas – Free Culture @ NYU is joining the call for a chain wide boycott of Regal Cinemas over their draconian punishment of a 19 year-old girl caught taping 20 seconds of the Transformers film.