Connect with us ! Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest YouTube

The Science of Fear – Happy Halloween! (Infographic)

Share on Facebook3Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Email this to someone

Fear Factor:

Fear is a complex sensation elicited by a perceived risk or danger that can directly produce a number of behavioural modifications. Fear can be conscious, subconscious, both, and can be acute or learned. This complexity explains why there is so much variety in how people perceive and respond to threatening cues. Some fears may have an evolutionary basis; ie. fear of poisonous snakes; while other fears may be the result of conditioning from a bad experience, and some fears have no rational basis (phobias). Responses range from freezing at the sight of a clown, to instinctively punching the actor in the haunted house as there are many factors that control our response to fears.

To fully understand how we perceive and respond to fear we need to look at the brain:

scienceoffear

Rethinking the Amygdala:

The amygdala refers to two almond shaped clusters of neurons deep within the brain’s medial temporal lobes that are part of the limbic system. This system is activated in many of those primal reflexes such as aggression, fear or threat detection and responses, pleasure and more. While the amygdala was traditionally thought of as the fear centre of the brain, and it certainly does regulate the nonconscious response to fear, it is one piece of a complex “fear” circuit. The amygdala detects threats and initiates a response that would help us cope, from neurotransmitter or hormone release to initiate fleeing or fighting.

As more information regarding fear perception and responses comes to light, researchers understand the concept of the “extended amygdala” for the assembly of fear and anxiety states in response to a broad spectrum of learned and unlearned threats. Researchers have been able to identify which portions of this extended amygdala are related to immediate vs long lasting responses, and how these regions communicate with each other.  It is also important to note that there is a conscious perception of fear that overlaps with and alters responses from the amygdala. The hippocampus is involved in evaluating the context of the fear and also creates a memory of the experience which serves as its own stimuli (so you can get scared just thinking about something scary).

When Fear Takes Over:

While fear can be protective there are times when it can become pathological. Many anxiety disorders and phobias are rooted in inaccurate perception of a fearful stimulus, hyperexcitable fear pathways, inappropriate fear extinction. As mentioned earlier, fear can be acquired through conditioning, pairing a specific stimulus (eg. a threatening face, loud noises) with a painful stimulus which elicits some sort of response (profuse sweating, dilated pupils etc.) Over time exposure to the stimulus alone can induce the response. While the exact physiology of the disordered functioning is murky there is a strong link with neurotransmitter dysfunction ie. serotonin, dopamine, and gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA.) A deficiency in any of these could cause inappropriate fear responses.

Fortunately, “fear extinction” is also possible, whereby exposure to a previously fearful stimulus no longer elicits any response. It involves some inhibition of the neurons in the extended amygdala, and is related to repeated exposure to a stimulus without the adverse event that they expect. Individuals must learn that the outcome they predict from a fearful stimulus is different from the outcome that actually occurs. This process may not occur in individuals with severe, maladaptive fear responses such as PTSD and is inhibited by chronic stress and possibly even GABA deficiency. The “fear extinction pathway” presents a sustainable therapeutic approach for these individuals and is a growing field.

fear-infographic-oct-31-2016

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Retype the CAPTCHA code from the image
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Protected with IP Blacklist CloudIP Blacklist Cloud

JOIN US NOW
Purus sed vel ultricies, lorem rhoncus. Augue hac, adipiscing risus, sed ac? Pid nunc dignissim, non, ac parturient sociis enim.
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER
All rights reserved © Company Name, 2014
Dolor aliquet augue augue sit magnis, magna aenean aenean et! Et tempor, facilisis cursus turpis tempor odio, cursus montes ac turpis. Ultrices! Massa integer augue ridiculus adipiscing, massa cras pid. Turpis placerat scelerisque, vut odio mus non, mattis porttitor, nunc odio, turpis tortor sit? Pid amet, sed facilisis.
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tandempo
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim donus
  • Montes vutario lacus quis arcupolisio
  • Leftomato denitro oculus tepircos den
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas popupius
  • Afrenius globalus spiritum tandempo
  • Fitatos vutario lacus quis arcup delis
Here's $3 Off
Apply $3 off at checkout to any AOR product purchase. Just send your name and email and we'll email you your coupon.
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
JOIN US NOW
Stay ahead of the curve with the latest AOR news, industry trends, and new product launches.
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Do you want massive traffic?
Dignissim enim porta aliquam nisi pellentesque. Pulvinar rhoncus magnis turpis sit odio pid pulvinar mattis integer aliquam!
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia montes
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico vutario
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den lacus
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum quis
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix digit
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul pat turtulis
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
JOIN US TODAY
For the latest:
AOR is committed to your privacy, your information will not be shared with any third party. You may unsubscribe at any time.
COMPANY UPDATES
INDUSTRY TRENDS
PRODUCT LAUNCHES
Nutrition Education
AOR is committed to your privacy, your information will not be shared with any third party. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Science-based facts from our team of top medical experts delivered right to your inbox!
Health Basics
Fitness Advice
JOIGNEZ-NOUS AUJOURD'HUI
Les dernières nouvelles:
AOR s’engage à protéger la confidentialité de vos données. Elles ne seront pas partagées avec des tiers. Vous pouvez vous désabonner à tout moment
MISE À JOUR
TENDANCES DE L'INDUSTRIE
LANCEMENTS DE PRODUITS
JOIN US TODAY
For the latest:
AOR is committed to your privacy, your information will not be shared with any third party. You may unsubscribe at any time.
SPECIAL RETAILER OFFERS
JOIN US TODAY
For the latest:
AOR is committed to your privacy, your information will not be shared with any third party. You may unsubscribe at any time.
MONTHLY PRICE LIST
JOIN US TODAY
For the latest:
AOR is committed to your privacy, your information will not be shared with any third party. You may unsubscribe at any time.
PRODUCT LAUNCHES