Creepy animals are the ones that cause a person to react in a "fight or flight" pattern. Of course, because we each are wired differently and come from a different set of experiences, we each will have a different set of creepy animals.

Some animals are almost universally creepy though. Spiders, for instance. Research has found that there is a part of the optical lobe of the brain which recognizes a round object with eight projections and reacts to it by notifying the ARAS (ascending reticular activating system) to do a fight-or-flight reaction before our brains can even cognitively recognize the spider. This direct-wiring exists in some people but not in others.

A similar connection exists for snake-type objects. I remember my cat being terrified of a coil of chain that we kept in our garage for a while. The cat KNEW it wasn't a snake, but whenever we set it down near the chain it leapt at least 4 feet into the air. The cat itself was probably wondering why it did that.

Through experience, we can modify the immediate reaction, or find ways to deal with it. I have somehow learned not to jump and scream every time I see a spider (I only do it about 10% of the time now). There are a bunch of methods developed by psychologists to help people become comfortable with their creepy animals.

The one method I would not recommend is "Immersion Therapy". They experimented with this at my University by putting people in a small room and then dumping severy thousand spiders on them from an opening in the ceiling. One guy died of a heart attack. It was NOT good therapy.

A better method, I think, is desensitization. This approach helps a person slowly get closer to the frightening animal, until they are finally able to sit comfortably with the animal in close proximity or even touching it. It is designed to go slowly, so that undue stress is not placed on the client.

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