Fear

Brain Facts

Posted by Safe In4 Hub

Evolutionary Survival Mechanism



During the early beginnings of life, nature developed the amygdalae as special purpose organs in the brain to remember and respond to danger signals. They become sensitive to sensory signals, which accompanied past painful events. Such sensitivity in the amygdalae of animals has been extensively verified. In typical experiments, a rat is exposed to a painful foot shock accompanied by a sound.

Later, when the sound alone is heard, its amygdalae will fire fear signals. Such painful experiences were seen to develop speed dial (LTP) circuits, which later responded instantly to the related sound signal. The organs became over sensitive to such signals. As essential as the vertebrae, these organs were early components of the brains of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. As the primary defense response mechanism, the amygdalae recognized danger patterns and impelled animals to fight, freeze, or escape.

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