More TestTube Plus:
How Fear is Wired in Our Brains
Why are CLOWNS So DAMN CREEPY!?
Each week on TestTubePlus, we cover one topic from multiple angles. This week, we are covering fear: What purpose does it serve, how its crippling our everyday lives, how to treat it, and more. In this series, Trace has discussed how our brain reacts to fear, how some fears are embedded in our DNA, and why some people seem to like getting scared. Today, Trace tries to imagine a world without fear.
What would you do if you had no fear? Quit your job, learn a new hobby, or do something daring like move to a foreign country? Well, in all reality, if we didn't have any fear, we'd probably ... be dead. We know this because there's folks out there whose amygdala (the part of the brain that causes you to process the fear response) deteriorated to the point where they stopped feeling fear. The most person of the bunch was born with a congenital disorder where amygdala started to degrade during childhood. She remembered being scared of the dark as a child, but just didn't grasp the concept of fear as she got older. Her diary outlines a world of danger that makes you wonder how she manages to stay alive at all: She playfully handles snakes and spiders; she even had a gun pointed to her during a failed mugging. Instead of giving up her wallet, she responded to the mugger in witty, thought-provoking fashion. intellectually she gets what's happening, but she just doesn't have the emotional response.
TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Each week, host Trace Dominguez probes deep to unearth the details, latest developments, and opinions on big topics like terrorism, alcohol, survival, black holes, the history of religion, dreams, space travel, the history of science, and more. TestTube Plus is also available as a podcast--click here to subscribe!
Why is Fear Fun? (Discovery News)
"With Halloween approaching, it's hard to avoid ghosts, goblins and other spooky decorations. But some people go even further, seeking out horror movies and convoluted haunted houses that are designed to scare the living daylights out of them."
Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear? (The Atlantic)
"This time of year, thrillseekers can enjoy horror movies, haunted houses, and prices so low, it's scary. But if fear is a natural survival response to a threat, or danger, why would we seek out that feeling?"
Modern phobias: The new fears caused by pressures of 21st century living (Mirror.co.uk)
"We are, it seems, a nation of nomophobes. That doesn't mean we are all now scared of garden ornaments - but that most of us are terrified of being without our mobile phones. According to a new study more than half of Brits suffer from nomophobia - an abbreviation of no-mobile-phone-phobia."
How Fear Works (How Stuff Works)
"The process of creating fear takes place in the brain and is entirely unconscious. There are two paths involved in the fear response: The low road is quick and messy, while the high road takes more time and delivers a more precise interpretation of events. Both processes are happening simultaneously."
What really happens when you're afraid? (Advocate Health Care)
"Your heart is pounding in your chest, your breathing is heavy, your hands are clammy and your muscles are tense. You're terrified, and whether it's from a fake zombie at a haunted house or something closer to reality, the reactions that your body goes through are no trick (or treat). But what are those reactions? What is really going on when you're scared?"
Why your brain shuts down when you're afraid (i09)
"Why can't you think straight when you're terrified? It's a question that haunted many people in the wake of yesterday's explosions in Boston, and neuroscience journalist Maia Szalavitz explains the answer to you over at Time."