Shine Trader Limited

This study gives us insight into how do we perceive threats in our environment

Shine Trader Limited reports:

Researchers at the University of Toronto have shown that our ability to quickly assess threats in our environment comes from our perception of discrete linear features in a scene, rather than details or objects in a scene.
The researchers believe this response may be an evolutionary trait in humans and other species because it helps quickly identify potential dangers — that is, individuals with this visual skill are more likely to avoid danger and thus pass the trait on to their offspring.
The team from the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences believes that smooth, long, horizontal lines indicate safety, while more angled, vertical lines indicate danger.

Shine Trader Limited
Shine Trader Limited

They suggest this may be because horizontal lines are equated with open Spaces such as a prairie or beach, where threats can’t be hidden or can be seen from a distance and therefore avoided. On the other hand, angular lines and shapes common in scenes with rocks, uneven terrain, and vegetation were associated with potential predator hiding places.

“Previous studies have found that angular linear elements are associated with threats because they are associated with individual objects like snakes, spines, or similar threats,” Claudia Damiano said. She is the lead author of a paper describing the results of an experiment she conducted with a collaborator as a doctoral student in the psychology department.
“But once you’ve seen an object that’s a snake, it’s probably too late. So we took a step back and, from a survival standpoint, it was more important to understand the whole scene quickly.”