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UM Psychology Community Talk with Dr. Ben Dantzer

Dr. Ben Dantzer, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Monday, April 23, 2018
7:00-8:30 PM
Off Campus Location
Can Stress be Beneficial? Perspectives from Wild Animals

Stress is constant in our lives. From the breakup of a relationship, the death of a loved one, or the frustrations associated with your morning commute, many of us unfortunately experience daily stressors associated with these types of situations. These adverse experiences can be associated with the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. If the situation that is causing us stress is short term, we usually cope and recover. However, if we experience stress for a long period of time (“chronic stress”), this may have very negative effects on our physical and mental health and overall well-being. From an evolutionary perspective, this is somewhat puzzling. Why would such a system evolve where our physiological responses to challenging situations have negative consequences to our health and well-being? If stress is “bad”, then why do all animals (not just humans) experience it? Could there be situations in which stress is actually good, at least from an evolutionary perspective? This presentation will focus on understanding the benefits of stress in wild animals from an evolutionary perspective. It will present examples of our research examining how stress experienced during pregnancy may have beneficial effects on offspring, at least in squirrels, and how elevations in stress may cause highly social animals like meerkats to be more cooperative.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Ann Arbor Public Library
Event Type: Presentation
Tags: Community Service, Ecology, Free, Psychology, Research, Social Sciences
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Exploring the Mind, The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Psychology
Upcoming Dates:
Monday, April 23, 2018 7:00-8:30 PM  (Last)