The Fearful Mind

Fear is a hardwired response, but it doesn’t have to rule our emotions.

Nearly one fifth of the U.S. adult population suffers from an anxiety disorder, according to 2018 data. At their core, the worry and panic that make up general anxiety stem from an overactive fear response in the brain. And indeed, that primordial reaction is one of the most examined topics in neuroscience— investigated in rodents, humans, other apes and even invertebrates.

But how much do those automatic feelings relate to the emotions that humans associate with fear and, subsequently, their experience in the world? To sort out the issue, as six neuroscientists discuss in a fascinating Q&A in these pages, step one is for the field to come to agreement over an exact definition of fear and how best to study it (see “Embracing Our Fear”).

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The science of fear – what makes us afraid?

If you have ever asked yourself ‘what is fear?’ then you have to be prepared to face your phobias and delve deep in to the science behind what makes us afraid.

The building was evacuated as Fire fighters, ambulances and police arrived on the scene to tend to the sick. That evening the local emergency room admitted 80 students and 19 staff members; 38 were hospitalised overnight.

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Rhythm of breathing affects memory, fear

Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s also linked to brain function, behavior

Date:December 7, 2016
Source:Northwestern University
Summary:The rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall, scientists have discovered for the first time. These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth.

 

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