Why do we gulp when we're scared?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by stateofmind, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. stateofmind seeker of lies Valued Senior Member

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    This is a weird response. Why do we do it?
     
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  3. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Neither do I. I don't know anyone that does except in movies or cartoons.
     
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  7. stateofmind seeker of lies Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe you guys just don't put yourselves in scary enough situations? :fright:
     
  8. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

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    Because part of the fear response is that the mouth dries up, thus creating a swallowing response to help lubricate the throat.
     
  9. stateofmind seeker of lies Valued Senior Member

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    Yah but why would our mouth dry up in response to fear?
     
  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    -=-

    Why are you scared?
     
  11. stateofmind seeker of lies Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not scared now. I have been scared before though, have you?

    One of the most obvious examples that comes to mind for this is when you're either lying or exaggerating about something to someone else - you gulp when gazed at directly. I've found this in my own life to be true. So why exactly does this response happen?
     
  12. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

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    Its probably more of a side effect of whats going on in the body. Fear triggers the release of stress hormones. One of the side effects is probably dry mouth. Also in a state of fear, you are going to burn up more of your bodies reserves of energy. One being water. Your going to sweat and loose water during a fight or flight situation. This is going to make you thirsty. Dry mouth is probably just one of the many effects of fear on the body.
     
  13. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Too much Scooby Do, my friend...
     
  14. Alien Cockroach Banned Banned

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    Oh, cortisol (panic hormone) has the effect of causing dry mouth. Cortisol does other important stuff, and dry mouth is just an unpleasant side-effect of elevated cortisol levels. This effect is eventually reversed by the effects of acetylcholine, which causes the body to return to a state of rest.
     
  15. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Because we're a cartoon guest star on "Scooby Doo"?
     
  16. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    To clear the throat in preparation for all the heavy breathing that may be required in a flight or fight scenario.
     
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Aw. Nietzche beat me to it.
     
  18. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Because fear stimulates the "fight or flisht" response which is mediated by the sympathetic nervous system. This suppresses the parasympathetic nervour system which controls salivation, lactrimation, urination, and defication. Therefore, you have decreased salivation and a dry mouth.
     
  19. sciencewhiz Registered Member

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    sympathetic nervous system of the ANS is activated when scared/panic causing production of small amounts of thick mucin rich saliva. Strong stimulation of the sympathetic NS constricts the blood vessels supplying the salivary glands thus inhibiting saliva release leading causing dry mouth(xerostomia) . We thus gulp in attempt to lubricate mouth and throat.
     
  20. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

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    to keep me from screaming like a girl...
     
  21. valsartan Registered Senior Member

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    This one. Very technical too, I must say.

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  22. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    He accidentally took a peek into Skaught's "special closet"

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  23. Lilalena Registered Senior Member

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