Published in psycho.philica.com
It is only in recent times, that Man, in the developed world, at least, has not had to endure periodic fasting. For most of Man’s history, fasting would have been common. Man would have had much opportunity, therefore, to evolve adaptive responses to the fasting state.
In July 2010, I began to try fasting. I noted a marked sensory enhancement as fasting entered the second day. This heightening of the senses had a quality most useful, in Stone Age hunter-gatherer societies. As the second day of fasting progressed, my visual attention shifted outwards, to take note of more distant events and occurrences. My circle of awareness expanded to encompass happenings far away. I began to notice people and places much further away than I normally would.
I repeated the experiment, with another two day fast and experienced the same attentional shift on the second day: distant events becoming more readily noticeable.
Clearly, an adaptive response to fasting that enhances a hunter’s attention at a distance, would have an evolutionary advantage. It would increase the hunter’s ability to spot and subsequently catch prey.
I propose, therefore, a psychological phenomenon:
Fasting induces a shift of visual attention to more distant events. The faster becomes more aware of matters at a greater distance. This fasting farsight is an evolutionary response to fasting, to aid hunters in finding food – and thus ending their fast.
Note, I am male. This fasting response may not be the same in both sexes since, in ancient times, men were the hunters – and therefore would have benefitted from this attentional shift. The female response might differ, perhaps resulting in heightened attention to detail, which would help in the gathering of foodstuffs.
This is but one case study. Further work will determine how common this response is, amongst modern humans.
The observation is based on numerous experiences, of the author, with fasting over a ten month period. The effect described was noted each time a fast entered the second day.
Information about this Observation
Peer-review ratings (from 1 review, where a score of 100 represents the ‘average’ level):
Originality = 50.00, importance = 25.00, overall quality = 25.00
This Observation was published on 5th April, 2011 at 06:30:23 and has been viewed 7761 times.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
The full citation for this Observation is:|
Cawley, V. (2011). The induction of heightened farsightedness, through fasting.. PHILICA.COM Observation number 66.
1 Peer review [reviewer #39114] added 28th July, 2013 at 15:21:03
Your observation isn’t technically a scientific discovery yet. You need to verify scientifically that your, and perhaps some others, perceptions have actually improved by a measurable amount and how much through means. Then it’s a scientific observation. Right now it’s an anecdote that may be true that you can use to go out and inspire you to get a scientific observation.
Please consider that you’ve distorted your physical (and mental if you’re a dualist) state through starvation and then published your perceptions of that state as truth about the actual state. It’s kind of like bending a ruler and then using it to report that centimetres have changed. You need an outside measure that doesn’t depend on your subjective state for verification.
Originality: 2, Importance: 1, Overall quality: 1