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    Neuroanatomy of disgust

    There is a disgusting video that is circulating internet, called two girls and a cup. No, I have not see it but I know that it was removed from this site by a moderator after it was posted. And also, no, the video below is not that video. Rather, it is a video of a girl watching that video.

    Disgust is an interesting phenomenon. There are some things that appear to be universally disgusting. For example, the vast majority of us are repelled by feces and urine. The latter, by the way, is not dangerous. Certain items are only disgusting depending on culture. For example, hindus and orthodox jews feel revulsion even at the thought of eating beef or pork respectively while others actually find the thought attractive.

    Digust is engendered rather early in childhood and may rather strongly expressed by children between the ages of 4-12. Babies, on the other hand, are not disgusted so much by certain items although they seem to find certain smells distasteful.

    In adults, disgust extends to people. Certain castes in India, for example, arouse disgust amongst other classes. Likewise, in Japan, for many years, the Eta or the untouchable class were considered disgusting to the point that people would no share the same road or house with them.

    Homophobia expresses itself as a form of disgust. Thus, homophobic people say that they find homosexual acts, such as two men kissing on the mouth, to be "disgusting" whereas they would find the same heterosexual act to be exciting or arousing.

    Some artists have choose to confront us with the "disgusting" and this has resulted in rather extreme actions and feelings against the National Endowment for Arts, which has some of this art. For example, the association with the madonna with feces is a type of "disgusting" art that many people cannot tolerate (Source).

    As one might expect, disgust has a definite neuroanatomical correlate (Source) that is not that different from the activity distribution of happiness and sadness. Interestingly, disgust induced activities are not as stable as those that were associated with fear, suggesting that there may be more accomodation to disgust than to fear.

    Last edited by Wise Young; 02-03-2008 at 04:07 PM.

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