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article imageStudy shows that brain has specific radar for snakes

By Owen Weldon     Nov 3, 2013 in Science
A new study that will be out on Monday says that the brain has specific cells that fire off warnings when confronted by a snake.
According to CTV, the study, which was done on monkeys, revealed that certain neurons respond selective to photos of snakes, and they also outpace comparable neurons that also react to geometric shapes.
The report, which will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers brand new evidence that supports the notion that primates evolved visionary skills in order to survive the threats that the reptiles pose in the jungle.
According to NPR, researchers say that the neurons are senstive to images of snake images, and the images are much more sensitive than primates' faces. Researchers said that this is surprising because primates' brains are very sensitive to faces.
According to LA Times, the study showed that electrical pulses from the neurons occurred at about 60 milliseconds after the monkeys were shown the snake, which suggested that the signal is processed unconsciously.
Two monkeys that were raised in captivity were used in the study, and they had no opportunity to encounter a snake in the wild.
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