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Life-Threatening Experiences Lead To Long-Lasting Changes In Animals Brains - To the moon and back
Predators can inspire fear that causes long-lasting changes to the brains and behaviors of wild animals, helping them remember and avoid such life-threatening events in the future. Researchers describe this as an “animal model” of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that suggests the condition may not be a maladaptive dysfunction, but rather a phenomenon that occurs in nature to enhance survival against perceived threats. Retaining a powerful and long-term memory of a life-threatening encounter is “clearly evolutionarily beneficial” if it helps an individual avoid such events in the future, note the researchers. “These results have important implications for biomedical researchers, mental health clinicians, and ecologists,” said study author Liana Zanette in a statement. “Our findings support both the notion that PTSD is not …