Natural Selection Influences the Reactions of Children to Potentially Dangerous Animals
Pavol Prokop 1 2 *
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1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Education, Trnava University, Priemyselná, Trnava, SLOVAKIA
2 Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA
* Corresponding Author

Abstract

Certain animals have represented a danger to humans in terms of a predation and pathogen threat over our evolutionary history. It is therefore adaptive for people to respond to a potential threat faster than to harmless events. Using simple choice tasks, the reaction time of children to predators, disease carriers and aposematically coloured animals were investigated. Children reacted the fastest to predators, followed by disease carriers and finally aposematically coloured animals. Furthermore, children manifested the highest accuracy when distinguishing predators from non-predators, followed by disease carriers and harmless animals, with the most errors occurring when identifying the aposematically coloured from non-aposematically coloured animals. Importantly, children more vulnerable to infectious diseases responded to disease carriers faster than healthier children. These results suggest that children are skilled in distinguishing potential danger from non-danger and that the behavioural immune system influences reaction times in visual contact with the pathogen threat.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

https://doi.org/10.29333/ejmste/83677

EURASIA J Math Sci Tech Ed, 2018 - Volume 14 Issue 4, pp. 1397-1406

Publication date: 21 Jan 2018

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Article Downloads: 134

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