Friday, May 22, 2009

Supernormal Stumuli...

I'm very interested in triggers. Things that make us react. Apparently everyone's favorite Darwin lookalike, Dan Dennett, has done some research into this area. He gave a lightning fast and slightly awkward talk at TED on the subject recently...

"The term "supernormal stumli" is owed to Niko Tinbergen, who did famous experiments with seagulls, where he found that orange spot on the mother gull’s beak drove baby gulls nuts. He found that if he made a bigger, oranger spot the gull chicks would peck at it even harder. It was a hyperstimulus for the gulls. Chocolate cake is a supernormal stimulus that tweaks our design wiring. There's lots of supernormal stimuli for sexiness for example."

I am particularly interested in animal-related triggers, and by that I mean actual and imaginary animals that stimulate our own animal consciousness, the primal part of us that, by nature, highlights and transcends the veil of civilization all around us.


Anonymous said...

Pretty helpful data, thanks so much for this article.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you will like this comic on Niko Tinbergen's Supernormal Stimuli research.

6:22 PM  

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