Supernormal Stimuli

In this short talk by Dan Dennett he discusses why we like chocolate cake, why men find women sexy, and why babies are cute. He points out that Darwin can help us to understand these human preferences. A preference for sweet things is an evolved high energy food detector, men are 'hardwired' to like specific physical attributes in women, and we think babies are cute because it's important to take care of them. He explains how you have to look at the human brain to understand why we like chocolate not at the chocolate: we don't like chocolate because it's sweet we like chocolate because we have evolved a neural mechanism that identifies glucose as sweet because it is high in energy.

Dennett also points out that this detection system evolved in an environment with natural sources of high energy foods: honey and fruit. Chocolate cake may be a 'supernormal stimulus'. 

How can this idea help to explain obesity in affluent western economies? What about fast food? Watch the video and then have a go at explaining this.....

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