Salutary fear: how being afraid in order to survive

Salutary fear: how being afraid in order to survive

MOSCOW, may 30 — RIA Novosti, Alfia Enikeeva. The fear of a wild predator and tremble at the knees in line to the dentist General nature. According to scientists, this is a universal mechanism that helps the body properly respond to the threat. In nature, survival of the one who in time is frightened and runs away, and too brave, stupid, and slow to die.

Tool fixture

People suffering from panic attacks, used to be afraid of. During these episodes compresses the breast, dark eyes, strong heartbeat, his forehead stands a cold sweat. Feelings typical for a person in a state of stress, only amplified tenfold. So-called program of fear (a complex of behavioral and physiological reactions in response to danger) these people may start in the most unexpected situations.

A panic attack is a violation coordinated work of three important brain areas: the hypothalamus, medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala (amygdale). It is from their coordinated action depended, would survive our primeval ancestor or become prey to predators.

“It is a universal adaptive mechanism, selected during evolution to protect from danger. Those of our ancestors, who fear does not know or have not developed this program, or have lost, died out. Today, therefore, all living beings are born from fear. For example, if the newborn rat pups, even without personal experience of encounter with a predator present smell of cats or foxes, they immediately scared. This unconditional reflex is innate fear,” says Natalia Saulsky, head of the laboratory of neurochemistry of the higher nervous activity of the Institute of physiology. I. P. Pavlova (if) ran.

In humans, this innate fear, or genetic memory, is triggered in certain types of animals. For example, most people are wary of spiders and snakes. And seen in the woods the little green lights at foot level will scare anyone, even if it will be cat eyes.

Where fear lives

When an animal faces a threat, the amygdala (a cluster of gray matter deep in the temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex) in the brain is activated, recognizes the innate meaningful threat signals and sends them to the hypothalamus, the lower part of the diencephalon. It was there that the decision of how to respond to a threat: to hide or to fight.

By the way, symptoms of fear when you stand out adrenaline and noradrenaline, your heart rate increases and pupils dilate, also responds to the hypothalamus. But it is only by obeying the commands of the amygdala.