Scientists identify causes of trypophobia, the unexplained fear of clusters of holes 19:18

French scientists from the University of Burgundy have studied the evolutionary causes of trypophobia, an irrational fear and dislike of clusters of holes. The research was published in the scientific journal magazine Evolutionary Psychological Science (EPS).

Trypophobia can manifest itself as a feeling of disgust and anxiety at the sight of honeycombs or other structures covered in small holes. Although this type of phobia is not officially recognized in diagnostic manuals, it is quite common among the public.

Experts have proposed two main hypotheses for the emergence of this fear. One is that trypophobic reactions emerged as a side effect of evolutionary adaptations to avoid dangerous creatures. Many venomous animals, such as snakes and spiders, exhibit patterns that resemble clusters of holes.

A study of brain activity in volunteers showed that trypophobic patterns and images of poisonous animals caused similar neural reactions in the brain; an increase in early posterior negativity associated with the automatic processing of dangerous visual information.

This neural response suggests that aversion to potential threats is deeply rooted in our nervous system.

The second hypothesis links trypophobia to avoidance of skin diseases. Many skin infections and ectoparasites form patterns on the body that resemble clusters of holes.
Research shows that people with a high fear of pathogens are more likely to experience trypophobia, suggesting that the fear of holes is related to mechanisms developed to protect against disease.

The authors of the article noted that cognitive behavioral therapy and medication are effective in coping with trypophobia.

Earlier scientists learnedWhy are so many people afraid of clowns?

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Source: Gazeta

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