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Physiological effects to stimuli

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Greta
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Physiological effects to stimuli

Post by Greta » October 2nd, 2017, 11:54 pm

While walking the dog I noticed that a new path had been made running very steeply uphill to some sports fields. I imagined climbing up and imagined looking down while struggling for a foothold while near the top, a fall of about five metres or so. I had that feeling, not as if I'm about to pee, but that first inkling.

Another example is standing near the edge of a cliff. It feels like the void is calling you, pulling you in. Ditto walking along a narrow footpath that would easy - unless there was a steep drop either side.

These are of course all evolved features. The animals that had odd uncomfortable feelings in dangerous situations would be a bit more likely to live to reproduce than their overly bold peers.

Another example: waking at night and suddenly remembering something critical at work that you'd forgotten or stuffed up. Whoosh! Suddenly your face is hot. Blushing apparently evolved because it's an unfakeable sign of contrition, and thus tends to reduce social punishments.

Do any others come to mind or observations about them?

Steve3007
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Re: Physiological effects to stimuli

Post by Steve3007 » October 15th, 2017, 4:06 pm

The vertigo one is a very strong one for me.

Also: today I went to a wildlife park containing lions, tigers, snakes, spiders, chimpanzees and various other creatures. My reaction to the spiders and snakes is a standing up of the hairs on the back of the neck. My reaction to the spiders is a feeling of itchiness. Observing the chimps resulted in more of a psychological than a physiological reaction. I see other primates like this in the flesh sufficiently rarely that it always seems incredibly odd how human they are. How odd it is that we so rarely (unless we live in particular parts of the world) confront the fact that we share the planet with these people.

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Re: Physiological effects to stimuli

Post by Maxcady10001 » November 27th, 2017, 10:53 pm

Sometimes I cringe when I rub certain types of fabric between my fingers. I think it's polyester. It's the same feeling most people get when nails scrape a chalk board. Why are these things so unpleasant?

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Greta
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Re: Physiological effects to stimuli

Post by Greta » November 27th, 2017, 11:36 pm

Steve3007 wrote:I see other primates like this in the flesh sufficiently rarely that it always seems incredibly odd how human they are. How odd it is that we so rarely (unless we live in particular parts of the world) confront the fact that we share the planet with these people.
Yes, they evoke strong feelings in me too. About a decade ago I attended a function at the local zoo and a friend and I broke off to look around. There was a crowd around the gorilla cage, oohing and ahing at the mother breastfeeding. Even at a distance we could see that the mother was agonised by the lack of privacy. The look on her face - pure internalised stress.
Maxcady10001 wrote:Sometimes I cringe when I rub certain types of fabric between my fingers. I think it's polyester. It's the same feeling most people get when nails scrape a chalk board. Why are these things so unpleasant?
I get that same feeling from microfibre towels. My guess is it's the dryness. We are watery beings, so things that feel dehydrating or sound dehydrated nauseate us.

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Re: Physiological effects to stimuli

Post by Steve3007 » November 28th, 2017, 4:29 am

I get the same feeling from socks. I prefer not to wear them, but when I do I prefer to pull them down a bit so that, as far as possible, my toes don't touch the ends.

-- Updated Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:30 am to add the following --

Yes, when we left the oceans we took a little sample of salty water with us and keep it in a bag.

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Greta
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Re: Physiological effects to stimuli

Post by Greta » December 4th, 2017, 6:37 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
November 28th, 2017, 4:29 am
I get the same feeling from socks. I prefer not to wear them, but when I do I prefer to pull them down a bit so that, as far as possible, my toes don't touch the ends.
Inconvenient to get the heebie jeebies from such everyday things!

I can also get vertigo when I look out at the stars and think hard enough about the distances involved - how much stuff lies between us and celestial objects. An odd thing - a brain creating tangible physical effects from such an abstraction that would no doubt be measurable with the right instruments. Once our brain is sufficiently convinced that something is real - be it imagining the vast distances of space or fooled by the rubber hand illusion - its actions then start to physically affect the body (as opposed to remaining coolly abstract).

No wonder people get so worked up when discussing religion, politics and other "What is the actual nature of reality?" subjects.

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Re: Physiological effects to stimuli

Post by LuckyR » December 5th, 2017, 3:40 am

Excellent description of the efficiency of the subconscious mind in the field of pattern matching. As mentioned, it did a good job keeping primitive man (and animals) out of trouble. Modern man has learned to suppress these warnings in the name of logic, occasionally to our peril.
"As usual... it depends."

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