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Fear In The Brain Essay

2181 words - 9 pages

In this paper fear is discussed on how it has different effects on your brain while your body functions will as well change. While many different parts of the brain are used when the body is experiencing fear, researchers have described the amygdala which is an almond shaped groups of nuclei located deep and medially within the temporal lobes of the brain. The amygdala is shown in research to perform a primary role in processing of memory, decision making, and emotion reactions. As well as the amygdala the hippocampus was mentioned to play an important role in to what is known as “fear conditioning.” The hippocampus is known to perform important roles in the consolidation of information from ...view middle of the document...

(Aschwanden) Some have suggested that God had given people a way to let others know that they were afraid even when they didn’t speak the same language. Charles Darwin once suggested that the “face of fear” was a result of instinctive tightening of muscles triggered by an evolved response to fear. (Liu) For humans, there are other factors involved in fear beyond instinct. Human beings have the same unfortunate gift of anticipation, and we anticipate the terrible things that might or might not happen, things such as what we have heard about, or read about, or seen on television. (Lissek) Fear is an internal and external reaction, that has different brain activity compared to other emotions.

Daily brain responses
Numerous experiments have been done to find out how the brain interprets stimuli and how not only humans, but animals develop fear responses. This emotion, most commonly known as fear, has been hard-wired into almost every individual, due to its vital role in the survival of the individual. Researchers have found that fear is established unconsciously and that the amygdala plays an important role in fear conditioning. By understanding how fear is developed within individuals, it increases the chance to treat human mental disorders, such as anxiety, phobias, and post traumatic stress disorder. (Mchugh) Molecular mechanisms that have been linked directly to the behavioral expression of conditioning are easier to study in a clinical setting as opposed to mechanism that underlie long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP is where synaptic plasticity is induced by electrical or chemical stimulation of lateral amygdala circuits. LTP is important for fear processing because it strengthens the synapses in neural circuits. These strengthened synapses and then used for long-term memory is developed and how fear itself is developed. (Steiner)
Brain activity with different emotions
The primary emotions are anger, fear, pleasure, sadness, and disgust. Emotions are are conceptualized in terms of their functional or adaptive significance. Anger and fear, otherwise known as negative emotions may promote avoidance or defensive behavior whereas the positive emotion of please ay facilitate ingestive exploratory, sexual or novel seeking behavior. Emotions and feelings may serve to achieve homeostasis or to facilitate adaptive behavior and equilibrium. Emotions can be elicited by external stimuli, however this mans the stimuli must have relevance or motivational significance in order to guide appropriate, adaptive behavior. The general concept of stimulus relevance is important in guiding behavior in many spheres: consummatory, sexual, reproductive, defensive, approach/avoidance and fight. (Wendt)

Brains different responses
Fear is a class of emotion elicited by threatening situations and it functions as an internal signal to alert the organism to potential danger. Individual response to fear engage in defensive or protective acts that serve to promote survival....

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