"Home insects caused more disgust in the brain than insects in the wild, especially cockroaches," said Dr. Eric Schumacher, director of the Georgia Tech Center for Advanced Brain Imaging. “Our research suggests that we may be conditioned against pests in the household as they can be linked to contamination or disease. It's not clear why cockroaches in particular provoke extreme disgust, although there can be many social and cultural factors that drive these emotions – familiarity, cultural norms, and so on. "
"Disgust probably evolved to keep us away from pathogens," said Tom Armstrong, assistant professor of psychology at Whitman College, Washington state. “Creepy crawling insects can be repulsive because they tend to live in dark, damp places where bacteria can thrive. Some can be human parasites while others can transmit diseases. While worms or maggots in food may not be harmful in and of themselves, they could indicate that food has been compromised by pathogens. "
John Mayer, a clinical psychologist and horror film screenwriter, suggests another reason so many of us are disgusted with these creatures because they seem to defy the natural order. "You seem to live forever," said Mr. Mayer. “They are difficult to destroy. Easily flush a spider down a drain and in a few minutes it will crawl out of the drain again. Crush some bugs and they'll keep wiggling. In addition, they seem to multiply a million times. Then they look abnormal for all of that – strange heads, spindle-shaped legs, wings, strange color combinations. These are not living things that convey cuddly, sweet affection – more like danger. And hell, some bite. "
Yoshinori Tomoyasu, who grew up in Japan and moved to the US as a researcher to study the evolution and development of insects, said, “Many things are surprisingly similar between the US and Japan, but with one exception – insects are in them USA not so popular USA This came as a big surprise to me, especially as an insect scientist. In Japan, insects are very close to us both physically and mentally. "
Dr. Tomoyasu said keeping insects as pets, especially rhinos and stag beetles, is very popular with children in Japan. Rhinoceros beetles, for example, are a symbol of strength, and kids who can catch big beetles are the "cool" kids there, he said.
“Insects are embedded in Japanese culture, as evidenced by many of the insect-related idioms and proverbs we have in Japan. For example, if you have a clue, you can say, "I received news of a bug," said Dr. Tomoyasu. "When you're in a bad mood, you can say," My bug is in the wrong place in my body. "
Over the past 10 years, he has seen more insect-related products being marketed to American children, such as insect nets and cages, and books and TV shows about insects, which can help a new generation confront them with less fear and fear of disgust.