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BRAIN ACTIVITY EFFECTS OF AWARENESS FOR EVOLUTIONARILY THREATENING STIMULI INVESTIGATING THE SNAKE DECTECTION HYPOTHESIS: INVESTIGATING THE SNAKE DETECTION HYPOTHESIS
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Snakes are probably the best example of evolutionarily life-threatening stimulus as they have been one of the first predators of primates and mammals in general. In recent years, it has been shown that snake images produce specific behavioral and electrophysiological reactions in humans, provoking enhanced brain activity over the occipital cortex compared with pictures of other animals. The present study investigated the hypothesis that the response to snake images is independent from awareness. Subjects (n=27) were asked to observe pictures of threatening and non-threatening animal stimuli, presented rapidly and in random order on a screen. Awareness level was manipulated using 4 different conditions of backward masks. Event Related Potentials (ERPs) showed that activity over the occipital cortex was clearly more pronounced for snake images than for the other images, but only in unmasked condition.

Abstract [sv]

Ormar är sannolikt ett av de bästa exemplen på ett evolutionärt livshotande stimuli då de utgjort ett av de första rovdjuren för primater och däggdjur i allmänhet. På senare år har man visat att bilder på ormar producerar specifika beteenden och elektrofysiologiska reaktioner hos människan, och ökad hjärnaktivitet i occipitalkortex jämfört med bilder på andra djur. Föreliggande studie undersökte hypotesen att responsen till ormbilder är oberoende från medvetandet. Deltagarna (n=27) ombads observera bilder på hotfulla respektive icke-hotfulla djurstimuli som presenterades snabbt och i slumpvis ordning på skärmen. Nivå av medvetande manipulerades genom att använda fyra olika betingelser av bakåt maskering. Event-relaterade potentialer (ERPs) visade att aktiviteten över occipitalkortex var betydligt mer uttalad för ormbilder jämfört med andra bilder, men bara i den icke-maskerade betingelsen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 19 p.
Keyword [en]
Evolution, ERP, EPN, Snake Detection Hipothesis
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-121986OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-121986DiVA: diva2:936000
Subject / course
Examensarbete i psykologi
Presentation
2016-05-31, 12:47 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-06-15 Created: 2016-06-13 Last updated: 2016-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Psychology Master's Thesis(1164 kB)79 downloads
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