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Popular Fear News and Current Events, Fear News Articles.
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Study charts origins of fear
University of Toronto study has charted how and where a painful event becomes permanently etched in the brain. (2005-09-15)

Autism and the smell of fear
Autism typically involves the inability to read social cues. We most often associate this with visual difficulty in interpreting facial expression, but new research at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests that the sense of smell may also play a central role in autism. (2017-11-27)

Researchers teach computer to recognize emotions in speech
Experts of the Faculty of Informatics, Mathematics, and Computer Science at the Higher School of Economics have created an automatic system capable of identifying emotions in the sound of a voice. Their report was presented at a major international conference -- Neuroinformatics-2017. (2017-11-08)

New approach towards an improved treatment of anxiety disorders
Traumatic experiences can become deeply entrenched in a person's memory. How can fears following a traumatic event be reduced in the long term and prevented from becoming a permanent stress-related disorder? Researchers at the Mainz University Medical Center have recently shed new light on these questions. (2018-12-11)

The internet may be secular, but religious americans aren't worried, baylor survey shows
Despite the pervasive use of the Internet in everyday life, most Americans report they never use it to find religious or spiritual content, and most never use it to share religious views, according to the Baylor Religion Survey. (2017-09-14)

Learning and unlearning to fear: The two faces of noradrenaline
Emotional learning can create strong memories and powerful emotional responses, but flexible behavior demands that these responses be inhibited when they are no longer appropriate. Scientists at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered that emotional and flexible learning rely on an important division of labor in the brain. Published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the study shows that these different learning states require distinct populations of neurons that originate in the locus coeruleus of the brain and transmit signals using noradrenaline. (2017-09-18)

New risk factors for anxiety disorders
Several newly discovered variants of a gene increase the risk of developing anxiety disorders. A research team aims to derive new therapies from this finding which are better tailored to the individual patients. (2017-02-24)

Researchers show how particular fear memories can be erased
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have devised a method to selectively erase particular fear memories by weakening the connections between neurons involved in forming these memories. In their experiments, they found that fear memory can be manipulated in such a way that some beneficial memories are retained while others, detrimental to our daily life, are suppressed. The research, done using a mouse model, offers insights into how PTSD/specific phobias may be better treated. (2017-08-17)

Study suggests that fear and anger had different effects on conservatives and liberals
The emotional underpinnings of political ideology motivated how the electorate sought and processed information about the 2016 presidential election and the major issue of climate change. ''This has important implications for how political dialogue is shaped,'' said Janet Yang, an expert in the communication of risk information related to science, health and the environment. ''It's not just what the candidates are saying; it's also how we communicate with one another.'' (2019-01-09)

Recognition of facial expressions is not universal
Caucasians and Asians don't examine faces in the same way, according to new research. Ph.D. student Caroline Blais, of the Universite de Montreal department of psychology, has published two studies on the subject: one in Current Biology and the other in PLoS ONE. (2010-01-26)

Reversing influences of intergenerational stress offers hope for addressing public health
Researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have shown for the first time in an animal model it is possible to reverse influences of parental stress by exposing parents to behavioral interventions following their own exposure to stress. This study has important public health implications for preventing future generations from bearing influences of stressors their parents faced before the children were conceived. (2018-08-27)

New research suggests your imagination really can set you free from fear
Mount Sinai study discovers that imagining threats can weaken reactions to them by suppressing perceptual and learning neural mechanisms. (2018-11-21)

Less fear: How LSD affects the brain
Scientists at the University of Basel have shown that LSD reduces activity in the region of the brain related to the handling of negative emotions like fear. The results, published in the scientific journal Translational Psychiatry, could affect the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. (2017-04-04)

How do antidepressants trigger fear and anxiety?
Scientists at the UNC School of Medicine mapped out a serotonin-driven anxiety circuit that may explain 'anxiety' side effect of antidepressants. (2016-08-24)

Xenophobia strongly linked to Brexit, regardless of voter age, gender or education
New research provides evidence that British citizens who agreed that immigrants threaten their values and way of life were more likely to have voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, regardless of their age, gender or education. People who just thought it was great to be British or just valued their British identity were not more likely to reject immigrants or vote for Brexit. (2017-11-27)

How estrogen modulates fear learning
Low estrogen levels may make women more susceptible to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while high estrogen levels may be protective. New research provides insight into how estrogen changes gene activity in the brain to achieve its protective effects. (2017-01-18)

Study reveals molecular mechanisms of memory formation
MIT neuroscientists have uncovered a cellular pathway that allows specific synapses to become stronger during memory formation. The findings provide the first glimpse of the molecular mechanism by which long term memories are encoded in a region of the hippocampus called CA3. (2018-02-08)

Psychopaths feel fear but see no danger
Researchers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Radboud University Nijmegen found proof that psychopathic individuals can feel fear, but have trouble in the automatic detection and responsivity to threat. (2016-08-30)

Component of marijuana may help treat anxiety and substance abuse disorders
Cannabidiol, a major component of cannabis or marijuana, appears to have effects on emotion and emotional memory, which could be helpful for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders. (2017-03-07)

How the brain hears and fears
What does the brain do when things go bump in the night? Researchers are looking at neural activity in the amygdala by studying how mice react when they hear a sound they've been taught to fear. (2018-12-05)

Top professional performance through psychopathy
The term 'psychopath' is not flattering: such people are considered cold, manipulative, do not feel any remorse and seek thrills without any fear -- and all that at other's expense. A study by psychologists at the University of Bonn is now shattering this image. They claim that a certain form of psychopathy can lead to top professional performance, without harming others or the company. (2017-02-23)

Fear of missing out impacts people of all ages
The social anxiety that other people are having fun without you, also known as FoMO, is more associated with loneliness, low self-esteem and low self-compassion than with age, according to a recent study led by Washington State University psychology professor Chris Barry. (2020-08-26)

No developmental differences in children conceived via assisted reproductive technology
A study comparing developmental milestones of children conceived via ART and spontaneously conceived children showed both groups achieved developmental milestones in a similar timeline. A significant difference existed at 12 months where those conceived through ART were more likely to report their child met all milestones than spontaneously conceived children's parents. Developmental milestones were created using CDC guidelines. This is the first study to analyze childhood development from the perspective of the parent. (2019-05-08)

Bottled water sales fueled by desire for immortality
A fear of dying plays a role in people buying bottled water, even though they know it may not be good for them or the planet, a study from the University of Waterloo has found. The study suggests that most bottled-water advertising campaigns target a deep psychological vulnerability in humans, compelling them to buy and consume particular products. Bottled water ads specifically trigger our one-most subconscious fear -- driving Canadians to buy billions of litres of water annually. (2018-02-01)

Social media accounts promote skeletal images of women
Skeletal images of bodies featuring protruding bones and pencil-thin limbs are being shared and promoted on social media, new research shows. (2017-10-16)

Rats exchange information about danger in a reciprocal fashion
Rats exchange information about danger in a reciprocal fashion, and this information transfer is at least partially mediated by a brain region called the anterior cingulate cortex, according to a study published Dec. 5 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Christian Keysers of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and the University of Amsterdam, and colleagues. (2019-12-05)

Tilt training prevents fainting
Tilt training effectively prevents fainting, according to research presented today at EHRA 2019, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress. The program also improved quality of life, reduced the worry and fear about future fainting and enabled patients to return to work. (2019-03-18)

Patients say lack of physician guidance and fear of side effects are why they don't take statins as prescribed
Despite national guidelines indicating that statins can lower risk of heart attack and stroke, many patients who could benefit do not take them. Most of these patients say they were never offered the cholesterol-lowering drugs, or they experienced or were fearful of possible side effects. (2019-03-27)

Mindfulness training and therapy can reverse jail time's negative psychological effects
Just four months in prison can negatively affects a person's cognitive abilities and impulse control, according to findings from two University of Pennsylvania researchers. The good news is that a combination of mindfulness training and cognitive behavioral therapy can help undo some of jail time's undesirable consequences. (2017-11-30)

Bold lizards of all sizes have higher mating success
Boldness correlates with the mating success, but not body size or sex, of yellow-spotted monitor lizards roaming the remote Oombulgurri floodplains of tropical Western Australia, ecologists report in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecosphere. Bold individuals expose themselves to much higher risk of being eaten by predators during the dangerous wet season. The researchers demonstrated quantifiable behavioral syndromes in the large lizards, with an intriguing relationship to the lizards' seasonal hunting strategies. (2018-05-24)

Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' not so scary after all
After wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s, some scientists thought the large predator reestablished a 'landscape of fear' that caused elk, the wolf's main prey, to avoid risky places where wolves killed them. But according to findings from Michel Kohl and Dan MacNulty, Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' is not as scary as first thought. (2018-06-22)

Legalizing marijuana will harm health of youth in Canada
The federal government's bill C-45 to legalize marijuana in Canada will jeopardize the health of young people and Parliament should vote against it, argues the interim editor-in-chief of CMAJ in an editorial. (2017-05-29)

German universities likely to benefit from Brexit, report suggests
A new report suggests that while UK universities are likely to suffer because of Brexit, German universities may reap the benefits. (2018-02-22)

Computer analysis shows that popular music lyrics become angrier and sadder over time
A scientific analysis of the sentiment of popular music lyrics from the 1950s to 2016 showed that the expression of anger and sadness in popular music has increased gradually over time, while the expression of joy has declined. (2019-01-24)

York U's OUCH lab pain study links children's fear of needles to parent behaviour
The researchers observed 202 parents in the Greater Toronto Area and 130 children between four and five years of age -- these children were among the 760 who were followed at the first wave at two, four, six and/or 12-month immunizations. The goal of this final wave is to link the regulation of pain to mental health outcomes, according to the researchers at the Opportunities to Understand Childhood Hurt (or OUCH as it is commonly known) lab. (2016-05-18)

Is a stress shot on the horizon?
Rats immunized weekly for three weeks with beneficial bacteria showed increased levels of anti-inflammatory proteins in the brain, more resilience to the physical effects of stress, and less anxiety-like behavior. If replicated in humans, researchers say the findings could lead to novel microbiome-based immunizations for mood disorders like anxiety and PTSD. (2018-06-06)

Woman with novel gene mutation lives almost pain-free
A woman in Scotland can feel virtually no pain due to a mutation in a previously-unidentified gene, according to a research paper co-led by UCL. She also experiences very little anxiety and fear, and may have enhanced wound healing due to the mutation, which the researchers say could help guide new treatments for a range of conditions, they report in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. (2019-03-27)

Parkinson's disease makes it harder to figure out how other people feel
Scientists are beginning to find out why people with Parkinson's disease often feel socially awkward. Parkinson's patients find it harder to recognize expressions of emotion in other people's faces and voices, report two studies published by the American Psychological Association. (2010-03-03)

Smokers' memories could help them quit
Rather than inciting fear, anti-smoking campaigns should tap into smokers' memories and tug at their heartstrings, finds a new study by Michigan State University researchers. (2017-02-16)

Scientists identify connection between dopamine and behavior related to pain and fear
Scientists have for the first time found direct causal links between the neurotransmitter dopamine and avoidance -- behavior related to pain and fear. Researchers have long known that dopamine plays a key role in driving behavior related to pleasurable goals, such as food, sex and social interaction. In general, increasing dopamine boosts the drive toward these stimuli. But dopamine's role in allowing organisms to avoid negative events has remained mysterious. (2018-04-19)

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