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Page last updated at 07:58 GMT, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 08:58 UK

Why do we feel disgust?

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Disgust seems in many ways a strange emotion - it affects our bodies and our minds and can appear and disappear dependent on the situation or the culture that we live in.

Dr Rachel Herz, professor of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour at Brown University and author of That's Disgusting, told Justin Webb that the sense of disgust originated as a way of avoiding eating poison by rejecting bitter food.

But she told the Today programme's Justin Webb that the human emotional response of disgust has to be learned.

"It is all about meaning," she said, explaining that if you describe eating eggs as eating chicken embryos, it changes the way you react when you eat them.


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