scientist voice: today i will be a dick to this cricket
The phrase “exposed to this spider torment” will haunt me
People in the notes have entirely misunderstood the point of this experiment and what it entails.
It’s not “proving that crickets can be traumatized”. It’s proving that *animals can genetically pass on the stress that a dangerous situation causes, and the offspring will instinctually respond to the same situation without ever having personally experienced it.*
And that’s a big deal for many things, including human psychology.
When Nazis invaded The Netherlands, local Dutch peoples were under extreme emotional and physical duress. The Nazi army took their food for the soldiers, starving the population. They patrolled the streets and harshly reinforced their new laws. Existence was horrible and some parents had to give their children away to wealthier families because they couldn’t feed them anymore. This event is known as the Hongerwinter, or Dutch Famine.
One generation later, the children of mothers who were pregnant at the time of the famine have been proven to exhibit intense reactions to stress, and heightened fight or flight responses. They also experience more obesity because their bodies are prepared for starvation.
Some of these children were never personally exposed to the famine. Their mothers gave birth after conditions had improved, or even after moving to another country. But the effects are there, and those people are now adults who can recognize this and attest that they didn’t experience something else traumatic during childhood. It was passed on in the womb.
You can read about it here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/science/dutch-famine-genes.amp.html
This is called epigenetics. It’s essential to understanding how the human brain and body works. That our responses to stress can be passed on genetically. That it can show up in how we look physically, our physical health, our mental responses, our instinctual reactions. It’s especially important for people who are in therapy and need to understand *why* they act a certain way before they can actually work on it.
So no, this experiment wasn’t “haha let’s torment a cricket”. I’m not going to argue the potential cruelty of the experiment with people. I just want you to understand what it actually all MEANS.
Reblogging for that last comment!
It’s also important for understanding why some countries have a heavily overweight population currently, for example. Cause their parents were possibly among those that did extreme diets aka their bodies suffered “starvation”. Like, many psychological and physiological issues might get retraced by such studies.