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Author Topic: Goosebumps Revisited  (Read 6302 times)

Offline Santi2c

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Goosebumps Revisited
« on: 02/03/2005 10:00:15 »
Upon special request, THE nakedscientist asked me to post the following:
Hey Chris,
 
 I think you are overlooking one reason we get goosebumps, and it's a more complicated emotion than fear.  I often get goosebumps when being deeply moved by music or when reading some material that hits the right spot.  Some people cry, or shiver, and others get goosebumps.  Now, this has nothing to do with being scared, and I don't wanna appear mean or ferocious or upset or startled or bigger like i do when I'm scared, there's no need for me to show others my emotions physically in this way. Or is there? Why do I get these goosebumps? I like them, im not really complaining.  But can you answer that?  Does this happen to you?

Thanks a lot,
Santiago


 

Offline DrPhil

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Re: Goosebumps Revisited
« Reply #1 on: 02/03/2005 15:41:55 »
It's the price we pay for being emotional creatures. Goosebumps are cause by an adrenaline rush. In animals this happens when they are facing a stressful situation; a handy survival adaptation. This happens in humans as well, but we also experience an adrenaline rush when we feel strong emotions. Obviously there's no need to appear mean or ferocious when you are deeply moved by music, but our skin doesn't know what caused the adrenaline rush, it is merely reacting to it.
 

Offline Santi2c

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Re: Goosebumps Revisited
« Reply #2 on: 02/03/2005 21:29:08 »
No offense, but that is an extremely vague answer, and somewhat useless, but I appreciate it nonetheless, haha. I mean, we still get the adrenaline rush for a reason, right?  Are you claiming that these goosebumps are useless while they serve a purpose for when feeling scared or cold?  Just saying we are emotional creatures is kinda cheating for me.  Since science seems to have an answer for nearly everything, how come my adrenaline rushes anyways?  And it doesn't seem to me that all adrenaline rushes cause your hair to stand, at least remembering back to my energy boosts when playing sports and what not.  Are goosebumps always associated with adrenaline?  

 

Offline DrPhil

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Re: Goosebumps Revisited
« Reply #3 on: 03/03/2005 02:10:28 »
quote:
Are you claiming that these goosebumps are useless while they serve a purpose for when feeling scared or cold?
For us all goosebumps are useless. They are a vestige of our animal ancestors. But adrenaline is still a useful hormone and it still produces goosebumps. Give us a few more years of evolution and I bet the goosebump goes away.
quote:
we still get the adrenaline rush for a reason, right?... how come my adrenaline rushes anyways?
Adrenaline intensifies emotions, which range from exhilaration to anger to fear, depending on your state of mind and the surrounding situation.
quote:
Are goosebumps always associated with adrenaline?
Side effects (and symptoms of overdose) of adrenaline and adrenaline-like drugs include goosebumps.
« Last Edit: 03/03/2005 02:12:52 by DrPhil »
 

Offline chris

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Re: Goosebumps Revisited
« Reply #4 on: 03/03/2005 08:22:08 »
Hi Santi

I'm glad you plucked up the courage to post your question about goosepimples (pardon the pun).

Your point about stimulti other than the cold triggering a manifestation of the 'freshly-plucked-chicken' look - such as music - is down to brain circuitry.

Blood pressure, temperature control, appetite, arousal, and other homeostatic functions are controlled by the hypothalamus which sits at the base of the brain, above the roof of your mouth. The hypothalamus receives connections from every different part of the brain so that it can tailor physiology - how the body operates - to the circumstances in which it finds itself. To do this it sends nerve projections to the major effectors including the pituitary gland and the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic).

One of its functions, as I mentioned above, is temperature regulation. If you are too hot it promotes peripheral vasodilatation (opening up of blood vessels close to the skin surface) to promote heat loss, and switches on sweating. Conversely, if you are too cold it activates heat gain mechanisms including increasing metabolic rate, shivering, peripheral vasoconstriction (shutting off blood flow to the skin), and goosepimples (piloerection - a vestige of our animal origins).

Now one other reason that animals activate their piloerector muscles is to make their hair stand on end to make themselves look bigger in the face of an enemy. That's why an agitated dog or cat looks like someone recently plugged it into the mains.

In other words, stress can provoke piloerection.

The part of the brain that registers danger, fear and emotion is an almond-sized region of the temporal lobe called the amygdala, which has rich projections to the hypothalamus.

The amygdala is activated by a variety of stimuli, including sex interestingly, and anything that induces emotion - including haunting melodies, or paunful memories.

So when you listen to a moving piece of music, or a movement that summons up painful memories (even subconsiously) your amygdala becomes very interested, and tells your hypothalamus to prepare the body - the results include goosepimples !

Chris

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx
« Last Edit: 03/03/2005 08:22:47 by chris »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Goosebumps Revisited
« Reply #5 on: 04/03/2005 00:32:10 »
Why are goose bumps called goose bumps?...why not duck bumps or haddock bumps ?:D

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
 

Offline chris

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Re: Goosebumps Revisited
« Reply #6 on: 04/03/2005 09:44:25 »
Owing to their resemblance to a freshly-plucked goose.

Chris

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Offline neilep

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Re: Goosebumps Revisited
« Reply #7 on: 04/03/2005 11:01:25 »
quote:
Originally posted by chris

Owing to their resemblance to a freshly-plucked goose.

Chris

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx



Thanks Chris.....I must confess I knew that.....I just wanted an excuse to say Haddock Bumps !!!.....sorry to take up your valuable time ;)

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Re: Goosebumps Revisited
« Reply #7 on: 04/03/2005 11:01:25 »

 

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