All posts tagged: side of the aisle.For years

How Manipulators Use Disgust to Hijack Our Brain

How Manipulators Use Disgust to Hijack Our Brain

Want to stay current with Arthur’s writing? Sign up to get an email every time a new column comes out. Disgust is an incredibly powerful negative emotion, capable of inducing vomiting, panic, and rage. The sound evolutionary reason for our experience of disgust is that it helped keep us alive—by making repellent the tastes, sights, smells, and other sensations associated with death, rottenness, or toxicity. So when your refrigerator smells wrong and, upon inspection, you find that the culprit is a piece of chicken that has gone south, you feel nauseated by something that just a week ago made your stomach growl with anticipation. And instead of eating the bad meat, you throw it out. An important part of the brain that helps govern this process is the insula, which works to keep us safe by alerting us to pathogens in our environment that might harm us. But if the insula is damaged, disgust can decrease or disappear. Scholars in 2016 showed this in an experiment involving patients with neurodegenerative diseases that affect the insula; …