Scientists were able to “shed light” on the mechanism of biochemical reactions to fear. Reporters found that “FRaly”, the study involved experts from the Colombian University (USA) and the Federal Polytechnic school of Lausanne (Switzerland).
Writes Current Biology, exploring features of locomotor behavior in fruit flies, fruit flies, found that in the moment of fright in the insect organism secretes the hormone serotonin. Externally the release of this hormone is manifested as a sudden whole body vibration and instant stop.
In particular, during the experiment, the scientists manipulated the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the ventral nerve chain fly equivalent of the spinal cord of vertebrates and analyzed the changes in the nature of the movement of insect with special sensitive glass. The results were processed using specially developed for this research program FlyWalker.
As stress factors, the scientists chose two scenarios: turning off the lights and “mini-earthquake”. For the second experiment the glass plate with a fly was placed on the surface of the engine, producing sharp jerks.
“We found that in the moment of fright the serotonin acts as an emergency brake: fly freezes and joints of all legs are in tension, — said one of the study’s authors Dr. Mann. — After a short pause, the insect again starts to move.”
It is noted that a similar reaction to potential threat — shiver and automatic reflex fading — observed in virtually all animals, from insects and fish to humans.
According to the researchers, the internal mechanism of these reactions is likely similar.