Neuroscience

How the brain fights off fears that return to haunt us

Neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a group of cells in the brain that are responsible when a frightening memory re-emerges unexpectedly, like Michael Myers in every "Halloween" movie. The ...

Neuroscience

Brain recalls old memories via new pathways

People with anxiety disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often experience prolonged and exaggerated fearfulness. Now, an animal study suggests that this might involve disruption of a gradual shifting ...

Neuroscience

How to erase a memory—and restore it

Using a flash of light, scientists have inactivated and then reactivated a memory in genetically engineered rats. The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, is the first cause-and-effect evidence that strengthened ...

Neuroscience

First evidence that fear memories can be reduced during sleep

A fear memory was reduced in people by exposing them to the memory over and over again while they slept. It's the first time that emotional memory has been manipulated in humans during sleep, report Northwestern Medicine ...

Neuroscience

Researchers discover link between fear, sound perception

Anyone who's ever heard a Beethoven sonata or a Beatles song knows how powerfully sound can affect our emotions. But it can work the other way as well – our emotions can actually affect how we hear and process sound. When ...

Neuroscience

Scientists erase fear from the brain

Newly formed emotional memories can be erased from the human brain. This is shown by researchers from Uppsala University in a new study now being published by the academic journal Science. The findings may represent a breakthrough ...

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Fear

Fear is an emotional response to threats and danger. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of pain. Psychologists John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that fear is one of a small set of basic or innate emotions. This set also includes such emotions as joy, sadness, and anger. Fear should be distinguished from the related emotional state of anxiety, which typically occurs without any external threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats which are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. Worth noting is that fear always relates to future events, such as worsening of a situation, or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable.

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