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NYU Neuroscientist Examines How Brain Responds To Fears That Are Imagined And Anticipated, But Never Experienced

Date:
March 30, 2001
Source:
New York University
Summary:
Using fear conditioning, the neural systems of fear learning and expression have been eloquently mapped with both human and animal research. This research has indicated that a brain structure called the amygdala is critical to the expression of a conditioned fear response. But is the amygdala involved when you encounter a fear-invoking event that you have merely heard about?

Although people learn about potentially dangerous events through hard experience (a given dog is dangerous because it once bit you), often we learn about such events through communication (a given dog is dangerous because you heard it bit somebody else.) In understanding the neural systems of fear learning, most researchers have focused on the former type of learning, which is called fear conditioning. However, little is known about the neural system underlying fear-learning through communication, in the absence of aversive experience.


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The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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New York University. "NYU Neuroscientist Examines How Brain Responds To Fears That Are Imagined And Anticipated, But Never Experienced." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010327080532.htm>.
New York University. (2001, March 30). NYU Neuroscientist Examines How Brain Responds To Fears That Are Imagined And Anticipated, But Never Experienced. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010327080532.htm
New York University. "NYU Neuroscientist Examines How Brain Responds To Fears That Are Imagined And Anticipated, But Never Experienced." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010327080532.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

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