Do infants possess an evolved spider-detection mechanism?

David H. Rakison, Jaime Lane Derringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous studies with various non-human animals have revealed that they possess an evolved predator recognition mechanism that specifies the appearance of recurring threats. We used the preferential looking and habituation paradigms in three experiments to investigate whether 5-month-old human infants have a perceptual template for spiders that generalizes to real-world images of spiders. A fourth experiment assessed whether 5-month-olds have a perceptual template for a non-threatening biological stimulus (i.e., a flower). The results supported the hypothesis that humans, like other species, may possess a cognitive mechanism for detecting specific animals that were potentially harmful throughout evolutionary history.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages381-393
Number of pages13
JournalCognition
Volume107
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Spiders
infant
animal
experiment
stimulus
History
threat
paradigm
history
Experiment
Template
Stimulus
Flower
Evolutionary
Real World
Habituation
Threat
Predator
Nonhuman Animals
Paradigm

Keywords

  • Adaptations
  • Cognition
  • Evolution
  • Fear
  • Infancy
  • Perception
  • Spiders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Do infants possess an evolved spider-detection mechanism? / Rakison, David H.; Derringer, Jaime Lane.

In: Cognition, Vol. 107, No. 1, 01.04.2008, p. 381-393.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rakison, David H. ; Derringer, Jaime Lane. / Do infants possess an evolved spider-detection mechanism?. In: Cognition. 2008 ; Vol. 107, No. 1. pp. 381-393.
@article{1558e70ec24544d0b8dcbb8e5f95b13e,
title = "Do infants possess an evolved spider-detection mechanism?",
abstract = "Previous studies with various non-human animals have revealed that they possess an evolved predator recognition mechanism that specifies the appearance of recurring threats. We used the preferential looking and habituation paradigms in three experiments to investigate whether 5-month-old human infants have a perceptual template for spiders that generalizes to real-world images of spiders. A fourth experiment assessed whether 5-month-olds have a perceptual template for a non-threatening biological stimulus (i.e., a flower). The results supported the hypothesis that humans, like other species, may possess a cognitive mechanism for detecting specific animals that were potentially harmful throughout evolutionary history.",
keywords = "Adaptations, Cognition, Evolution, Fear, Infancy, Perception, Spiders",
author = "Rakison, {David H.} and Derringer, {Jaime Lane}",
year = "2008",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.cognition.2007.07.022",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "107",
pages = "381--393",
journal = "Cognition",
issn = "0010-0277",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do infants possess an evolved spider-detection mechanism?

AU - Rakison, David H.

AU - Derringer, Jaime Lane

PY - 2008/4/1

Y1 - 2008/4/1

N2 - Previous studies with various non-human animals have revealed that they possess an evolved predator recognition mechanism that specifies the appearance of recurring threats. We used the preferential looking and habituation paradigms in three experiments to investigate whether 5-month-old human infants have a perceptual template for spiders that generalizes to real-world images of spiders. A fourth experiment assessed whether 5-month-olds have a perceptual template for a non-threatening biological stimulus (i.e., a flower). The results supported the hypothesis that humans, like other species, may possess a cognitive mechanism for detecting specific animals that were potentially harmful throughout evolutionary history.

AB - Previous studies with various non-human animals have revealed that they possess an evolved predator recognition mechanism that specifies the appearance of recurring threats. We used the preferential looking and habituation paradigms in three experiments to investigate whether 5-month-old human infants have a perceptual template for spiders that generalizes to real-world images of spiders. A fourth experiment assessed whether 5-month-olds have a perceptual template for a non-threatening biological stimulus (i.e., a flower). The results supported the hypothesis that humans, like other species, may possess a cognitive mechanism for detecting specific animals that were potentially harmful throughout evolutionary history.

KW - Adaptations

KW - Cognition

KW - Evolution

KW - Fear

KW - Infancy

KW - Perception

KW - Spiders

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=40649112099&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=40649112099&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.07.022

DO - 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.07.022

M3 - Article

VL - 107

SP - 381

EP - 393

JO - Cognition

T2 - Cognition

JF - Cognition

SN - 0010-0277

IS - 1

ER -