April 9, 2004

Fear, Cookie Monster, and The Easter Bunny

I am not afraid of the Easter Bunny. He brings me candy every year. This year his timing worked to where he delivered pounds of chocolate right as I was finishing up snarfing cookies. I am exceptionally similar to the cookie monster. Although he is titled a monster, he obviously does not scare me.

Where does fear come from?

Many of our greatest fears are driven from past experiences. The need for survival prevents fear from being enacted upon logically. Rather than going through the whole slow logic process our amygadala has the ability to quickly process fear responses and help store those memories.

Vice storing all those memories within the amygadala, the amygadala generalizes associations which activate fear and provide pointers to where this data exists within the cortext. The reasons for a generalization is that it wants to group similar ideas in with the one that triggered the response to provide a more effective fear response.

Basically the amygadala says "look quick...this could be bad."

They have proven that people with amnesia can still remember events that trigger pain, which shows they can still learn some things.

The fact that the fear responses are not processed within our concience shows why people can have such hard time with events such as post traumatic stress disorder. Some people believe that the mind revisits horrible ideas to help master it's problems, but the truth is this reentry is nothing more than a way to remind us of what happend. It helps provide self preservation.

Posted at April 9, 2004 11:45 AM
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