Oddly enough, some people experience immense anxiety when they see bubbles in a cup of coffee or the holes in the sponge. This condition might be shunned by us many times, but the recent study has revealed that an exaggerated response linked to deep-seated anxiety about parasites and infectious diseases might trigger this condition. This condition is medically termed as trypophobia and a medical explanation says that people are evolutionarily inclined to imagine clusters of round shapes as some snake or octopus.
This new research led by Tom Kupfer of the University of Kent in Britain, says that the condition may be liked to evolutionary history of infectious disease and parasitism which causes this heightened reaction to cluster of round things. The team also found that a number of virus- or bacteria-borne disease causes round shapes on skin, like smallpox, measles, rubella and scarlet fever. There are number of many diseases which also forms round shapes on the skin.
The study, published in the journal Cognition and Emotion, saw the participation of over 300 people with trypophobia. A comparison group of around 300 university students without trypophobia also took part.Both groups were invited to view sixteen cluster images. Eight were pictures of clusters relating to diseased body parts (for example, circular rash marks on a chest; smallpox scars on a hand; a cluster of ticks).
The other eight cluster images had no disease-relevant properties (for example, drilled holes in a brick wall; a lotus flower seed pod).
Both groups of participants reported finding the disease-relevant cluster images unpleasant to look at but whereas the university students did not find the disease-irrelevant cluster images unpleasant, the trypophobic group found them extremely unpleasant.
The study overall suggest that people with trypophobia go through an exaggerated response to round things like bubbles on coffee and can trigger the similar reaction on seeing tics or lesions.
(With IANS Inputs)
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