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Current Fear News and Events, Fear News Articles.
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Hooking up or dating: Who benefits?
Carolyn Bradshaw, from James Madison University in Virginia, and colleagues explored the reasons that motivate college men and women to hook up or to date, as well as the perceived relative benefits and costs of the two practices. Their findings are published online in Springer's journal Sex Roles. (2010-04-07)

Neuroscientists show how brain stores memories of specific fears
The brain is capable of holding and retrieving memories for specific fears, revealing a more sophisticated storage and recall capacity than previously thought, neuroscientists have found. (2010-04-02)

Acupuncture calms highly anxious dental patients
Acupuncture can calm highly anxious dental patients and ensure that they can be given the treatment they need, suggests a small study published in Acupuncture in Medicine. (2010-03-29)

Having plenty of supportive relatives increases fear of dying
Having a large number of supportive relatives increases the fear of dying among the elderly from ethnic minority groups, suggests research in Postgraduate Medical Journal. (2010-03-29)

New scale for measuring addiction to work
Researchers from the Jaume I University have proven the usefulness of DUWAS, a new scale for measuring addiction to work, a disorder that affects around 12 percent of all working people in Spain. The experts say that 8 percent of the working population in Spain devotes more than 12 hours per day to their job. (2010-03-23)

Fearless fish forget their phobias
Imagine if your fear of spiders, heights or flying could be cured with a simple injection. Research published in BioMed Central's open-access journal, Behavioral and Brain Functions suggests that one day this could be a reality. (2010-03-22)

Psychopaths' brains wired to seek rewards, no matter the consequences
The brains of psychopaths appear to be wired to keep seeking a reward at any cost, new research from Vanderbilt University finds. The research uncovers the role of the brain's reward system in psychopathy and opens a new area of study for understanding what drives these individuals. (2010-03-14)

National Jewish Health receives grant to learn how families cope with food allergy
Families with food-allergic children face a life of constant vigilance and the looming fear of life-threatening allergic reactions. This fear can have a huge impact on an entire family's life, from heightened anxiety to severe limits on their daily activities. National Jewish Health researcher Mary Klinnert has received a $450,000 grant from the NIH to study how different families adapt to life with food allergies, and to discover what helps the best-adapted families cope well. (2010-03-08)

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)

Pets on planes
The preferences of pet owners should not replace the well-being of their fellow passengers, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). (2010-02-16)

Women, more than men, choose true crime over other violent nonfiction
When it comes to violent nonfiction, men are from Mars, the planet of war, but women are from Earth, the planet of serial killings and random murders. (2010-02-15)

Patients 'unafraid' to gamble highlight role of amygdala in decision-making
Two patients with rare lesions to the brain have provided direct of evidence of how we make decisions -- and what makes us dislike the thought of losing money. (2010-02-08)

Caltech neuroscientists discover brain area responsible for fear of losing money
Neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology and their colleagues have tied the human aversion to losing money to a specific structure in the brain -- the amygdala. (2010-02-08)

Psychosocial problems are common in children with dental fear
Children and adolescents with severe dental fear often come from families with a turbulent background. It is also more common that they have had counselling contact with a psychologist. These are the conclusions of research carried out at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. (2010-02-07)

Brain scientists extend map of fear memory formation
Draw a map of the brain when fear and anxiety are involved, and the amygdala looms large. But scientists have now extended the brain's fear map to include the prelimbic cortex. Researchers found that mice lacking a critical growth factor in the prelimbic cortex have trouble remembering to fear electric shocks. The discovery could help improve diagnosis and treatment for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias. (2010-01-27)

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)

Everybody laughs, everybody cries: Researchers identify universal emotions
Here's a piece of research that might leave you tickled: laughter is a universal language, according to new research. The study, conducted with people from Britain and Namibia, suggests that basic emotions such as amusement, anger, fear and sadness are shared by all humans. (2010-01-25)

Animal behavioral studies can mimic human behavior
Studying animals in behavioral experiments has been a cornerstone of psychological research, but whether the observations are relevant for human behavior has been unclear. Weill Cornell Medical College researchers have identified an alteration to the DNA of a gene that imparts similar anxiety-related behavior in both humans and mice, demonstrating that laboratory animals can be accurately used to study these human behaviors. (2010-01-14)

Captured by true crime
Women are more drawn to true crime books than are men, according to research in the inaugural issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science, published by SAGE. (2010-01-11)

NYU researchers develop noninvasive technique to rewrite fear memories
Researchers at New York University have developed a noninvasive technique to block the return of fear memories in humans. The technique, reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature, may change how we view the storage processes of memory and could lead to new ways to treat anxiety disorders. (2009-12-09)

Noninvasive technique blocks a conditioned fear in humans
Scientists have for the first time selectively blocked a conditioned fear memory in humans with a behavioral manipulation. Participants remained free of the fear memory for at least a year. The research could lead to improved treatments for anxiety disorders. It builds on emerging evidence from animal studies that reactivating an emotional memory opens a six-hour window of opportunity in which a training procedure can alter it. (2009-12-09)

Debunking fears: Latino growth does not boost crime
Rural industries, such as meat-packing and textile manufacturing, create job opportunities that have brought significant numbers of Latino workers and their families to small- and medium-sized towns. This influx of Latino migrants is often met with resistance from other residents, who fear increases in crime and poverty rates. But a new study from North Carolina State University debunks those fears, showing that the introduction of Latinos contributes to positive changes, not negative ones. (2009-12-09)

Fear of anxiety linked to depression in above-average worriers
Anxiety sensitivity, or the fear of feeling anxious, may put people who are already above-average worriers at risk for depression, according to Penn State researchers. Understanding how sensitivity to anxiety is a risk factor for depression may make anxiety sensitivity a potential target for treating depression in the future. (2009-12-01)

Study shows dream-enacting behavior is common in healthy young adults
A study in the Dec. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that dream-enacting behaviors are common in healthy young adults, and the prevalence of specific behaviors differs between men and women. (2009-12-01)

Study sheds light on brain's fear processing center
A University Iowa study helps explain why breathing carbon dioxide can trigger panic attacks and also suggests a new role for the amygdala -- the brain region that processes fear signals and directs fear behavior -- as a sensor that can detect certain fear signals for itself. (2009-11-25)

Brain's fear center is equipped with a built-in suffocation sensor
The portion of our brains that is responsible for registering fear and even panic has a built-in chemical sensor that is triggered by a primordial terror -- suffocation. A report in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, shows in studies of mice that the rise in acid levels in the brain upon breathing carbon dioxide triggers acid-sensing channels that evoke fear behavior. (2009-11-25)

Shifting blame is socially contagious
Merely observing someone publicly blame an individual in an organization for a problem -- even when the target is innocent -- greatly increases the odds that the practice of blaming others will spread with the tenacity of the H1N1 flu. (2009-11-19)

Study offers tips on taming the boogie monster
A study of about 50 4-, 5-, and 7-year-olds identified coping strategies by having children listen to short illustrated stories in which a child came into contact with something that looked like a real or an imaginary frightening creature. In situations in which a child's fear was caused by real creatures, the researchers found, children would rather do something than think positive thoughts. The study also highlights important sex and age differences in children's coping. (2009-11-13)

To make memories, new neurons must erase older ones
Short-term memory may depend in a surprising way on the ability of newly formed neurons to erase older connections. That's the conclusion of a report in the Nov. 13 issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, that provides some of the first evidence in mice and rats that new neurons sprouted in the hippocampus cause the decay of short-term fear memories in that brain region, without an overall memory loss. (2009-11-12)

Forget all about it: Traumatic memories can be erased
It is well known that fear memories are permanent. However, a recent paper in Science, evaluated by three Faculty Members for F1000, reports an extraordinary finding that supports the use of a drug to control recollections of traumatic incidents. (2009-11-09)

Professor: Fear, shame keep homeowners from defaulting
University of Arizona law professor Brent White has just published a working paper making the case that homeowners who are underwater in their mortgage should just walk away from their homes. He says shame and guilt are keeping more homeowners from walking away from their mortgages, even if it might be a smart decision. (2009-11-04)

Pecan trees benefit from thinning technique
Pecan trees have a tendency to bear fruit in cycles, producing a large crop in one or two years, followed by little or no crop. This cycle is the most profit-limiting biological problem facing producers. Georgia researchers who studied the effects of mechanical fruit thinning on pecan yield, nut quality, and profitability concluded concluded that increased profitability using mechanical fruit thinning results primarily from higher yields and prices in the OFF year of production. (2009-11-03)

Sneezing in times of a flu pandemic
The swine flu (H1N1) pandemic has received extensive media coverage this year. The World Health Organization, in addition to providing frequent updates about cases of infection and death tolls, recommends hyper vigilance in daily hygiene such as frequent hand washing or sneezing into the crook of our arms. News reports at all levels, from local school closures to airport screenings and global disease surveillance, continue to remind us of the high risk. (2009-11-02)

Getting on 'the GABA receptor shuttle' to treat anxiety disorders
There are increasingly precise molecular insights into ways that stress exposure leads to fear and through which fear extinction resolves these fear states. Extinction is generally regarded as new inhibitory learning, but where the inhibition originates from remains to be determined. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory chemical messenger in the brain, seems to be very important to these processes. (2009-10-22)

Women outperform men when identifying emotions
Women are better than men at distinguishing between emotions, especially fear and disgust, according to a new study published in the online version of the journal Neuropsychologia. As part of the investigation, Olivier Collignon and a team from the Université de Montréal Centre de recherche en neuropsychologie et cognition demonstrated that women are better than men at processing auditory, visual and audiovisual emotions. (2009-10-21)

Is my robot happy to see me?
Scientists at Georgia Tech tested our ability to interpret a robot's (2009-10-19)

Fear of being laughed at crosses cultural boundaries
Laughter is an emotional expression that is innate in human beings. This means laughing at others is also believed to be a universal phenomenon. However, the fear of being laughed at causes some people enormous problems in their social lives. This is known as gelotophobia, a disorder that affects people in all cultures alike. (2009-10-14)

Stranger homicide by people with schizophrenia is rare -- and unpredictable
Homicide of strangers by people with schizophrenia is so rare that is impossible to predict who might offend or when it might happen, say researchers in a study published today, Oct. 12, in Schizophrenia Bulletin. More than half of offenders in the study had never been treated for schizophrenia -- earlier treatment for the first episode of psychosis and good quality care could prevent some homicides, the study concludes. (2009-10-11)

Places to play, but 'stranger danger' fears keep inner-city kids home: Study
Fear of dangerous strangers in inner-city neighborhoods is keeping kids and teens from using playgrounds and parks to be physically active. (2009-09-30)

Researchers use computational models to study fear
University of Missouri researchers have started using computational models of the brain, making it easier to study the brain's connections. Guoshi Li, an electrical and computer engineering doctoral student, has discovered new evidence on how the brain reacts to fear, including important findings that could help victims of post-traumatic stress disorder. (2009-09-30)

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