Fear
Overview
 
Fear is a distressing negative sensation
Sensation
Sensation is the fiction-writing mode for portraying a character's perception of the senses. According to Ron Rozelle, “. . .the success of your story or novel will depend on many things, but the most crucial is your ability to bring your reader into it. And that reader will be most completely...

 induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus
Stimulus (physiology)
In physiology, a stimulus is a detectable change in the internal or external environment. The ability of an organism or organ to respond to external stimuli is called sensitivity....

, such as pain
Pain
Pain is an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting iodine on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone."...

 or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response
Fight-or-flight response
The fight-or-flight response was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon....

) but in extreme cases of fear (terror
Terror
Terror may refer to:*Fear, an emotional response to threats and danger*Terror, a political strategy of the asymmetrical use of threats and violence against enemies using means that fall outside the routine forms of political struggle operating within some current regime*Terrorism, the fact of...

) a freeze or paralysis response is possible. Some psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

s such as John B. Watson
John B. Watson
John Broadus Watson was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it which was given at Columbia University in 1913...

, Robert Plutchik
Robert Plutchik
Robert Plutchik was professor emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and adjunct professor at the University of South Florida. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and he was also a psychologist. He has authored or coauthored more than 260 articles, 45 chapters and eight...

, and Paul Ekman
Paul Ekman
Paul Ekman is a psychologist who has been a pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions. He has been considered one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century...

 have suggested that fear belongs to a small set of basic or innate emotion
Emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

s.
Quotations

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalms|Psalms, 23:4

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalms|Psalms, 27:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.

Psalms|Psalms, 46:1-2

As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Psalms|Psalms, 103:11

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Psalms|Psalms, 111:10

Be not afraid of sudden fear.

Book of Proverbs|Book of Proverbs, 3:25

Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Ecclesiastes|Ecclesiastes, 12:13

Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.

Translation: Whatever it is, I fear Greeks even when they bring gifts.

Oderint dum metuant.

Translation: Let them hate, so long as they fear.

The fear of death is more to be dreaded than death itself.

Publilius Syrus, Maxims, No. 511 (100 BC)

Encyclopedia
Fear is a distressing negative sensation
Sensation
Sensation is the fiction-writing mode for portraying a character's perception of the senses. According to Ron Rozelle, “. . .the success of your story or novel will depend on many things, but the most crucial is your ability to bring your reader into it. And that reader will be most completely...

 induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus
Stimulus (physiology)
In physiology, a stimulus is a detectable change in the internal or external environment. The ability of an organism or organ to respond to external stimuli is called sensitivity....

, such as pain
Pain
Pain is an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting iodine on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone."...

 or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response
Fight-or-flight response
The fight-or-flight response was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon....

) but in extreme cases of fear (terror
Terror
Terror may refer to:*Fear, an emotional response to threats and danger*Terror, a political strategy of the asymmetrical use of threats and violence against enemies using means that fall outside the routine forms of political struggle operating within some current regime*Terrorism, the fact of...

) a freeze or paralysis response is possible. Some psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

s such as John B. Watson
John B. Watson
John Broadus Watson was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it which was given at Columbia University in 1913...

, Robert Plutchik
Robert Plutchik
Robert Plutchik was professor emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and adjunct professor at the University of South Florida. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and he was also a psychologist. He has authored or coauthored more than 260 articles, 45 chapters and eight...

, and Paul Ekman
Paul Ekman
Paul Ekman is a psychologist who has been a pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions. He has been considered one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century...

 have suggested that fear belongs to a small set of basic or innate emotion
Emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

s. This set also includes such emotions as joy
Happiness
Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources....

, sadness
Sadness
Sadness is emotional pain associated with, or characterized by feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, helplessness, sorrow, and rage. When sad, people often become outspoken, less energetic, and emotional...

, and anger
Anger
Anger is an automatic response to ill treatment. It is the way a person indicates he or she will not tolerate certain types of behaviour. It is a feedback mechanism in which an unpleasant stimulus is met with an unpleasant response....

. Fear should be distinguished from the related emotional state of anxiety
Anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness,...

, which typically occurs without any certain or immediate external threat. Additionally, fear is frequently related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats which are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. It is worth noting that fear almost always relates to future events, such as worsening of a situation, or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable. Fear can also be an instant reaction to something presently happening. Fear is an emotion that is pre-programmed into all animals and people as an instinctual response to potential danger.
Fear, whatever its source, can become a controlling factor in a person’s life. Fear can channel one’s energies away from areas of perceived threats and into directions that seem safe.
Fear of the unknown
According to Larry D. Burton's article, fear of the unknown may be the demon that seeks to divert scholarly efforts. Attempting something new is inherently risky and therefore a potential source of stress and fear. Trying something new may result of high expectations from others or even having high hopes. For those who expect others to have high expectations may pressure the person and feel FEARED because of their high hopes they are expecting from them.

Common fears

According to surveys, some of the most common fears are of ghost
Ghost
In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to...

s, the existence of evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

 powers, cockroach
Cockroach
Cockroaches are insects of the order Blattaria or Blattodea, of which about 30 species out of 4,500 total are associated with human habitations...

es, spider
Spider
Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms...

s, snake
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

s, heights
Acrophobia
Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. It belongs to a category of specific phobias, called space and motion discomfort that share both similar etiology and options for treatment.Most people experience a degree of natural fear when exposed to heights, especially if there is little...

, water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

, enclosed spaces
Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia is the fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms...

, tunnel
Tunnel
A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for egress, commonly at each end.A tunnel may be for foot or vehicular road traffic, for rail traffic, or for a canal. Some tunnels are aqueducts to supply water for consumption or for hydroelectric stations or are sewers...

s, bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

s, needle
Hypodermic needle
A hypodermic needle is a hollow needle commonly used with a syringe to inject substances into the body or extract fluids from it...

s, social rejection
Social rejection
Social rejection occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a social relationship or social interaction. The topic includes both interpersonal rejection and romantic rejection. A person can be rejected on an individual basis or by an entire group of people...

, failure
Failure
Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic...

, examinations
Test (assessment)
A test or an examination is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker's knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics . A test may be administered orally, on paper, on a computer, or in a confined area that requires a test taker to physically perform a...

 and public speaking
Public speaking
Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners...

. In an innovative test of what people fear the most, Bill Tancer analyzed the most frequent online search queries that involved the phrase, "fear of...". This follows the assumption that people tend to seek information on the issues that concern them the most. His top ten list of fears consisted of flying
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

, heights
Acrophobia
Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. It belongs to a category of specific phobias, called space and motion discomfort that share both similar etiology and options for treatment.Most people experience a degree of natural fear when exposed to heights, especially if there is little...

, clown
Clown
Clowns are comic performers stereotypically characterized by the grotesque image of the circus clown's colored wigs, stylistic makeup, outlandish costumes, unusually large footwear, and red nose, which evolved to project their actions to large audiences. Other less grotesque styles have also...

s, intimacy, death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

, rejection
Rejection
The word "rejection" was first used in 1415. The original meaning was "to throw" or "to throw back".Rejection may mean:* Social rejection, in psychology, an interpersonal situation that occurs when a person or group of people exclude an individual from a social relationship* Transplant rejection,...

, people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

, snakes, success
Success
Success may refer to:* a level of social status* achievement of an objective * the opposite of failure- Places :* Success, Western Australia, a suburb of Perth, Australia* Success, Arkansas, United States* Success, Missouri, United States...

, and driving
Driving
Driving is the controlled operation and movement of a land vehicle, such as a car, truck or bus.Although direct operation of a bicycle and a mounted animal are commonly referred to as riding, such operators are legally considered drivers and are required to obey the rules of the road...

.

One of the common fear can be the fear of public speaking. People may be comfortable speaking inside a room but when it becomes public speaking, fear enters in the form of suspicion that whether the words uttered are correct or incorrect because there are many to judge it. Another common fear can be of pain, or of someone damaging a person. Fear of pain in a plausible situation brings flinching, or cringing.

In a 2005 Gallup poll (U.S.A.), a national sample of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 15 were asked what they feared the most. The question was open ended and participants were able to say whatever they wanted. The most frequently cited fear (mentioned by 8% of the teens) was terrorism. The top ten fears were, in order: terrorist attacks
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

, spiders, death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

, being a failure
Failure
Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic...

, war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

, heights
Acrophobia
Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. It belongs to a category of specific phobias, called space and motion discomfort that share both similar etiology and options for treatment.Most people experience a degree of natural fear when exposed to heights, especially if there is little...

, criminal
Fear of crime
The fear of crime refers to the fear of being a victim of crime as opposed to the actual probability of being a victim of crime.The fear of crime, along with fear of the streets and the fear of youth, is said to have been in Western culture for "time immemorial"...

 or gang violence, being alone
Solitude
Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people. It may stem from bad relationships, deliberate choice, infectious disease, mental disorders, neurological disorders or circumstances of employment or situation .Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one...

, the future
Future
The future is the indefinite time period after the present. Its arrival is considered inevitable due to the existence of time and the laws of physics. Due to the nature of the reality and the unavoidability of the future, everything that currently exists and will exist is temporary and will come...

, and nuclear war.

Causes

People develop specific fears as a result of learning. This has been studied in psychology as fear conditioning
Fear conditioning
Fear conditioning is a behavioral paradigm in which organisms learn to predict aversive events. It is a form of learning in which an aversive stimulus is associated with a particular neutral context or neutral stimulus , resulting in the expression of fear responses to the originally neutral...

, beginning with John B. Watson's Little Albert experiment
Little Albert experiment
The Little Albert experiment was a case study showing empirical evidence of classical conditioning in humans. This study was also an example of stimulus generalization. It was conducted in 1920 by John B. Watson along with his assistant Rosalie Rayner. The study was done at Johns Hopkins...

 in 1920. In this study, an 11-month-old boy was conditioned to fear a white rat in the laboratory. The fear became generalized to include other white, furry objects. In the real world, fear can be acquired by a frightening traumatic accident. For example, if a child falls into a well and struggles to get out, he or she may develop a fear of wells, heights (acrophobia
Acrophobia
Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. It belongs to a category of specific phobias, called space and motion discomfort that share both similar etiology and options for treatment.Most people experience a degree of natural fear when exposed to heights, especially if there is little...

), enclosed spaces (claustrophobia
Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia is the fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms...

), or water (aquaphobia
Aquaphobia
Aquaphobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of water. Aquaphobia is a specific phobia that involves a level of fear that is beyond the patient's control or that may interfere with daily life. People suffer aquaphobia in many ways and may experience it even though they realize the water in an...

). There are studies looking at areas of the brain that are affected in relation to fear. When looking at these areas (amygdala), it was proposed that a person learns to fear regardless of whether they themselves have experienced trauma, or if they have observed the fear in others. In a study completed by Andreas Olsson, Katherine I. Nearing and Elizabeth A. Phelps the amygdala were affected both when subjects observed someone else being submitted to an aversive event, knowing that the same treatment awaited themselves, and when subjects were subsequently placed in a fear-provoking situation. This suggests that fear can develop in both conditions, not just simply from personal history.

The experience of fear is affected by historical and cultural influences. For example, in the early 20th century, many Americans feared polio, a disease that cripples the body part it affects, leaving that body part immobilized for the rest of one's life. There are also consistent cross-cultural differences in how people respond to fear. Display rules
Display rules
Display rules are a social group's informal norms about when, where, and how one should express emotions.Expressions of emotions vary to a great degree and hold significant meaning with great value of determining one's cultural and social identity. Display rules identify these expressions to a...

 affect how likely people are to show the facial expression of fear and other emotions.

Although fear is learned, the capacity to fear is part of human nature
Human nature
Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally....

. Many studies have found that certain fears (e.g. animals, heights) are much more common than others (e.g. flowers, clouds). These fears are also easier to induce in the laboratory. This phenomenon is known as preparedness
Preparedness (learning)
In psychology, preparedness is a concept developed to explain why certain associations are learned more readily than others. For example, phobias related to survival, such as snakes, spiders, and heights, are much more common and much easier to induce in the laboratory than other kinds of fears....

. Because early humans that were quick to fear dangerous situations were more likely to survive and reproduce, preparedness is theorized to be a genetic effect that is the result of natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

.

From an evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...

 perspective, different fears may be different adaptation
Adaptation
An adaptation in biology is a trait with a current functional role in the life history of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of natural selection. An adaptation refers to both the current state of being adapted and to the dynamic evolutionary process that leads to the adaptation....

s that have been useful in our evolutionary past. They may have developed during different time periods. Some fears, such as fear of heights, may be common to all mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s and developed during the mesozoic
Mesozoic
The Mesozoic era is an interval of geological time from about 250 million years ago to about 65 million years ago. It is often referred to as the age of reptiles because reptiles, namely dinosaurs, were the dominant terrestrial and marine vertebrates of the time...

 period. Other fears, such as fear of snakes, may be common to all simian
Simian
The simians are the "higher primates" familiar to most people: the Old World monkeys and apes, including humans, , and the New World monkeys or platyrrhines. Simians tend to be larger than the "lower primates" or prosimians.- Classification and evolution :The simians are split into three groups...

s and developed during the cenozoic
Cenozoic
The Cenozoic era is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras and covers the period from 65.5 mya to the present. The era began in the wake of the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous that saw the demise of the last non-avian dinosaurs and...

 time period. Still others, such as fear of mice and insects, may be unique to humans and developed during the paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 and neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 time periods (when mice and insects become important carriers of infectious diseases and harmful for crops and stored foods).

Fear is high only if the observed risk and seriousness both are high and is low if one or the other of the seen risk or seriousness is low.

Fears in Culture

The awareness of the end and its existence is in other words the fear of death. The fear of death ritualized the lives of our ancestors. These rituals were designed to reduce that fear; they helped collect the cultural ideas that we now have in the present. These rituals also helped preserve the cultural ideas. The results and methods of human existence had been changing at the same time that social formation was changing. One can say that the formation of communities happened because people lived in fear. The result of this fear forced people to unite to fight dangers together rather than fight alone.

If one was to look into religion, they would find that it’s filled with different fears that humans had throughout many centuries. The fears don’t just go on the metaphysical levels (including the problems of life and death) but it moves onto moral dimensions as well. Death was a boundary to people that is a transition to another world. This world would always be different depending on how the person lived their lives. The origin of this intangible fear comes from other sources that are not found in the present world. In a sense we can assume that fear was a big influence on things such as morality.

Our fears are portrayed through sources such as books, movies. Eg horror novels or horror movies that plays with the persons fears. Fear is also found in mythological folklore and folklore superstitions.

Neurobiology

The amygdala
Amygdala
The ' are almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep within the medial temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans. Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions, the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic system.-...

 is a key brain
Human brain
The human brain has the same general structure as the brains of other mammals, but is over three times larger than the brain of a typical mammal with an equivalent body size. Estimates for the number of neurons in the human brain range from 80 to 120 billion...

 structure in the neurobiology of fear. When the amygdala is stimulated this results in the manifestation of different behaviours, varying from showing anxiety aggression or the appearance of being fearful. Researchers have observed hyperactivity in the amygdala when patients were shown threatening faces or confronted with frightening situations. Patients with a more severe social phobia showed a correlation with increased response in the amygdala. Studies have also shown that subjects exposed to images of frightened faces, or faces of people from another race, exhibit increased activity in the amygdala.

The fear response generated by the amygdala can be mitigated by another brain region known as the rostral anterior cingulate cortex
Anterior cingulate cortex
The anterior cingulate cortex is the frontal part of the cingulate cortex, that resembles a "collar" form around the corpus callosum, the fibrous bundle that relays neural signals between the right and left cerebral hemispheres of the brain...

, located in the frontal lobe
Frontal lobe
The frontal lobe is an area in the brain of humans and other mammals, located at the front of each cerebral hemisphere and positioned anterior to the parietal lobe and superior and anterior to the temporal lobes...

. In a 2006 study at Columbia University, researchers observed that test subjects experienced less activity in the amygdala when they consciously perceived fearful stimuli than when they unconsciously perceived fearful stimuli. In the former case, they discovered the rostral anterior cingulate cortex activates to dampen activity in amygdala, granting the subjects a degree of emotional control.

The role of the amygdala in the processing of fear-related stimuli has been questioned by research upon those in which it is bilateral damaged. Even in the absence of their amygdala, they still react rapidly to fearful faces.

Suppression of amygdala activity can also be achieved by pathogens. Rats infected with the toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid family. Animals are infected by eating infected meat, by ingestion of feces of a cat that has itself...

 parasite become less fearful of cats, sometimes even seeking out their urine-marked areas. This behavior often leads to them being eaten by cats. The parasite then reproduces within the body of the cat. There is evidence that the parasite concentrates itself in the amygdala of infected rats.

Several brain structures other than the amygdala have also been observed to be activated when individuals are presented with fearful vs. neutral faces, namely the occipitocerebellar
Cerebellum
The cerebellum is a region of the brain that plays an important role in motor control. It may also be involved in some cognitive functions such as attention and language, and in regulating fear and pleasure responses, but its movement-related functions are the most solidly established...

 regions including the fusiform gyrus
Fusiform gyrus
The fusiform gyrus is part of the temporal lobe in Brodmann Area 37. It is also known as the occipitotemporal gyrus. Other sources have the fusiform gyrus above the occipitotemporal gyrus and underneath the parahippocampal gyrus....

 and the inferior parietal / superior temporal
Superior temporal gyrus
The superior temporal gyrus is one of three gyri in the temporal lobe of the human brain, which is located laterally to the head, situated somewhat above the external ear.The superior temporal gyrus is bounded by:* the lateral sulcus above;...

 gyri. Interestingly, fearful eyes, brows and mouth seem to separately reproduce these brain responses. Scientist from Zurich studies show that the hormone oxytocin related to stress and sex reduces activity in your brain fear center
Process of fear
-The thalamus collects sensory data from the senses
-Sensory cortex receives data from thalamus and interprets it
-Sensory cortex organizes information for dissemination to hypothalamus (fight or flight), amygdala (fear), hippocampus (memory)

Fear of death

Psychologists have addressed the hypothesis that fear of death motivates religious commitment, and that it may be alleviated by assurances about an afterlife. Empirical research on this topic has been equivocal. According to Kahoe and Dunn, people who are most firm in their faith and attend religious services weekly are the least afraid of dying. A survey of people in various Christian denominations showed a negative correlation between fear of death and religious concern.

In another study, data from a sample of white, Christian men and women were used to test the hypothesis that traditional, church-centered religiousness and de-institutionalized spiritual seeking are distinct ways of approaching fear of death in old age. Both religiousness and spirituality were related to positive psychosocial functioning, but only church-centered religiousness protected subjects against the fear of death.

Fear of death is also known as death anxiety. This may be a more accurate label because, like other anxieties, the emotional state in question is long lasting and not typically linked to a specific stimulus. The analysis of fear of death, death anxiety, and concerns over mortality is an important feature of existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

 and terror management theory
Terror management theory
Terror Management Theory , in social psychology, states that all human behavior is motivated by the fear of mortality. The theory purports to help explain human activity both at the individual and societal level...

.

Fear of death is also known as Thanatophobia.

See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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