Snakes are among the most common targets of fears and phobias around the world. In visual search tasks, both adults and young children have repeatedly been found to visually detect snakes more rapidly than other kinds of stimuli. An important question that remains unstudied is what accounts for humans' rapid response to snakes? Here we suggest that specific features of snakes themselves lead to their rapid detection. The results of five experiments suggest that a snake's shape is the crucial factor in their rapid detection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Cognitive Neuroscience