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Re: [Evolutionary_Psychology] "Mass hysteria" is alive and well, researchers say: news story

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  • Tom Saunders
    Sorry, I could not bring up the article with the address you listed. Tom Saunders ... From: euclidean253@yahoo.com To: psyched_about_psychology@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 27, 2004
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      Sorry,
       
      I could not bring up the article with the address you listed.
       
      Tom Saunders
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 7:34 AM
      Subject: [Evolutionary_Psychology] "Mass hysteria" is alive and well, researchers say: news story

      In medieval times, when whole groups of people started acting oddly, someone would end up at the stake. Today the phenomenon meets with more compassion, but the same befuddlement.


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    • Carmi Turchick
      There was a recent PBS show about this which I found pretty convincing; the answer to this phenomenon in many or most cases seems to be ergot poisoning. This
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 27, 2004
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        There was a recent PBS show about this which I found pretty
        convincing; the answer to this phenomenon in many or most cases
        seems to be ergot poisoning. This is the same stuff that they make
        LSD out of and it can infect rye plants in certain conditions and
        then be consumed by humans. It causes the veins to constrict,
        lowering the amount of blood getting to the brain, and also has
        psychedelic effects.
        The researchers found a strong correlation between witch burnings
        and areas of Europe that ate a lot of rye. They also found accounts
        from an episode in Europe in modern times, around WWII, where a dog
        exhibited behaviors exactly like those of a dog described in the
        accounts from Salem. They did trace the outbreak in that town to
        ergot from one bakery, but they still had the priest exorcise it.
        This episode in the article sounds very like ergot poisoning to me,
        both in observed symptoms and because the symptoms go away when the
        people leave that area. Perhaps these are the people who get the rye
        bread sandwiches.

        Carmi



        --- In Evolutionary_Psychology@yahoogroups.com, "euclidean253@y..."
        <euclidean253@y...> wrote:
        > In medieval times, when whole groups of people started acting
        oddly, someone would end up at the stake. Today the phenomenon meets
        with more compassion, but the same befuddlement.
        >
        > http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/040907_hysteriafrm.htm
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
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        > vote.yahoo.com - Register online to vote today!
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