OOOooooooooo things that go bump in the Halloween night . . . your hair stands on end (without gel), a shiver goes down your spine . . . . goosebumps.
“Whenever you get goose pimples, it’s not actually somebody walking over your grave, as my granny used to say; it’s a little uptick in stress as your brain tries to keep you safe.”*
Goosebumps – the muscles around each hair follicle contract, raising them up into little bumps and have an intriguing connection with your brain. When your body goes into fight or flight mode -goosebumps can happen.
Inside your brain, your amygdala is your watchdog, constantly looking out for anything dangerous in your environment. And when it detects anything, real or imaginary, as dangerous it sets off a chain reaction in your brain that releases adrenaline and starts the fight or flight response in your body. You get goosebumps.
This happens in animals, too. Your cat or dog’s hair will stand up on end, making them look bigger to possible adversaries. We as humans don’t have enough hair to really do this, but we may have kept the response from the time our ancestors were harrier then we are now.
Goosebumps are a good thing . . so we aren’t all bald.
The cells that cause goosebumps, by contracting muscles, are important for the hair follicle’s health. Without them, the hair could just fall out.
It’s not just scary stuff that triggers goosebumps.
Goosebumps also happen when:
- You are cold.
- Have a fever and get chills – adrenaline is released to warm you up by lifting your body hair and making you “fluffier”
- Emotions – Beautiful piece of music as can music that creates a bit of fear or surprise .
Do you get goosebumps on Halloween?*Matthew Sachs Ph.D.