Shands Study Shows Response To Fear
Published February 8th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - Experts at Shands are gathering information about the human brain and how it reacts to fear. Researchers think they are closer to training the brain to stop reacting fearfully, something that would help in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
The study had 21 people watch flickering shapes appear on the screen while an electrode net monitored their brain activity. The results found something new about how the brain processes fear. Dr. Andreas Keil, the psychology professor at UF who's behind the study says their findings contradict the common belief that at the sight of something scary, people with anxiety disorders ignore safety cues. He believes it depends more on your past.
"For a long time people have looked at the part of the brain that sees things as basically a camera, that looks at the world and just reflect the world. But recently it has turned out that it's really not. It's not just a passive camera, what we see is heavily influenced by what we have experienced in our past... Good things or bad things," Keil says.
Keil and Dr. Vladimir Miskovic, co-authored their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience. With these new results they hope to one day be able to therapeutically teach people how to control their brain from feeling fear.
That could help doctors diagnose and treat people with illnesses like PTSD and other mood disorders. Tonight (February 8th) at 11pm, I talk to a veteran about his feelings on this health advancement that may help PTSD patients.
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