Friday, December 10, 2010

Tarantulas Helping People Get Over Fears

According to Reuters Life!, scientists are using tarantulas to determine how the human brain responds to fear based on the proximity, direction and preconceived assumptions of a terrifying object. Researchers from the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, England used functional magnetic resonance imaging to follow brain activity in 20 volunteers as they watched a video of a tarantula. Scientists found that different parts of the brain control different parts of the “fear network,” so when the spider moves closer, the brain changes from anxiety to panic. Their results could help scientists diagnose and treat patients who suffer from phobias.
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