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The Neuroscience Behind a Bigfoot Sighting

During a Bigfoot sighting, there is a split second decision as to whether someone stays, or flees. But the decision of "fight or flight" is actually acted upon because of a series of processes within the human brain.


In this blog I will explain how the specific parts of the brain, which are the amygdala, the limbic, and the prefrontal cortex, and how they work together during a Sasquatch sighting. Understanding how each one is dependent on the other is key, so here we go...


The information as to what you are experiencing comes in through the amygdala, which signals trust or distrust to the limbic section of your brain. The limbic brain takes that information and runs it against past experiences that you have had over your life. Think of the limbic brain as a catalog for every microsecond of information that your brain has taken in over your lifetime.


The amygdala will automatically signal to the limbic brain whether or not it is sensing danger. Once that emotion of distrust or trust, is registered, the limbic brain can analyze it, and pass it on to the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex takes in the information, and in milliseconds, forms a cognitive response. The entire process begins with "emotion", and transitions to a "cognitive" plan of action.


When it comes to Sasquatch sightings, there are many things people do, or do not do, when the situation dictates what they should be doing. For example, during a sighting, the amygdala and the limbic brain may not have a frame of reference for the situation they are in, or what they are seeing. There is no distrust, or trust sensed, because the subject is observing something which cannot be put in it's proper place.


The experience may be so overwhelming that the amygdala cannot give the proper information to the limbic brain, and the limbic brain's ability to give the experience reference is, shall we say, short circuited. As a result, the prefrontal cortex cannot make a decision, because it isn't getting helpful information.


In those situations, it is very likely that the "brain" doesn't know what to do about what it is seeing, hearing, etc. It isn't getting a reference, therefore, it cannot form a strategy. So when you hear, "I was frozen in fear", they are in fact, frozen with indecision...which is scary in and of itself.


Now go have fun in the deep dark woods.


- Dave -