first_imgShare LinkedIn Email New research published in Evolutionary Psychological Science indicates that upright animals attract attention in humans compared to animals that are in a reclined posture.“Even though many people currently have minimal experience with predators, they are still fearful of them,” explained study author Jessica Yorzinski, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University.“Predators vary in how dangerous they are– a predator that is standing and looking right at you is more of a threat than a predator that is reclining (a predator that is already standing up can attack you faster than a predator that is initially lying down). We wanted to know whether people adjust their behavior relative to how dangerous predators are.” Share on Facebookcenter_img Share on Twitter Pinterest In the study, the researchers used an eye-tracking device to record the gaze patterns of 30 men and 30 women as they viewed photographic arrays of lions and arrays of antelopes. The participants were instructed to press the spacebar on a keyboard as soon as they detected a standing animal among an array of reclining ones or a reclining animal among an array of standing ones.The researchers found that the participants were faster to detect upright lions compared with reclining lions. The slower speed of detecting reclining animals was linked to the fact that the participants spent more time looking at the standing animals around it.“People are sensitive to the subtle cues of predators that indicate how dangerous the predators are. People are faster at finding dangerous predators that are standing up compared to less dangerous predators that are lying down,” Yorzinski told PsyPost.The participants detected standing lions approximately 131 milliseconds faster than reclining lions. This might seem like a small difference, but the researchers noted that given lions sprint at approximately 13.9 meters per second, upright lions could be detected when they are nearly two meters farther away.“Interestingly, we also found that people are faster at detecting non-dangerous animals that are standing up rather than lying down. It is possible that people are quicker to detect non-dangerous animals that are standing because they are evaluating their chances of capturing prey,” Yorzinski added.“This study complements another recent study on a similar topic that examined gaze direction rather than posture. We found that people are faster at finding dangerous predators that are gazing directly at them compared to less dangerous predators that are looking away from them.”The study, “Animals in Upright Postures Attract Attention in Humans“, was authored by Jessica L. Yorzinski and Richard G. Coss.(Photo credit: Tambako The Jaguar)last_img