[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
28-Oct-2013

[ | E-mail ] Share Share

Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society

The Chemistry of Fear: A new video from the American Chemical Society

With Halloween just a few days away, millions are flocking to horror films and haunted houses for their annual dose of terror. The latest video from the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Bytesize Science series uncovers the chemistry behind the spine-tingling sense of fear. The episode is available now at http://www.BytesizeScience.com.

"Fear is the expectation or the anticipation of possible harm… We know that the body is highly sensitive to the possibility of threat, so there are multiple pathways that bring that fear information into the brain," explains Abigail Marsh, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Georgetown University. Marsh's research focuses on the neuroscience of fear and empathy in psychopaths, among other topics. In the video, she highlights the key brain chemicals and hormones involved in fear and the accompanying fight or flight response.

Marsh explains that the amygdala, an evolutionarily ancient part of the human brain, is the most important structure in the fear response. In a bonus video also available at http://www.BytesizeScience.com, Marsh tells the story of "SM," a woman without a functional amygdala who is — quite literally — fearless.

###

Subscribe to Bytesize Science on YouTube for more videos that uncover the chemistry in everyday life.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter Facebook



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.