Science Says It’s Possible to Fear Nothing


Researchers are confirming a connection between the amygdala, the brain’s unofficial “danger detector,” and fear. An anonymous 44-year-old lady they studied is a fairly functional mother of three, but she has a critically damaged amygdala. Hence, she is fearless. To study her, scientists did super-scientific things like making her play with scary snakes: “She eagerly held a snake for more than three minutes, rubbing its scales and touching its flicking tongue, even after an employee warned her about the danger. She had to be stopped from touching a tarantula.” At the extra-scientific haunted house: “She led the way, often calling, ‘This way, guys, follow me!’ Not only did the ‘monsters’ fail in their attempts to scare her, but she eagerly approached them. Her fear ratings? Zero.” Sure, she’s been known to casually approach dangerous, knife-wielding strangers on occasion, but she mostly sounds like a good time. Excuse us now; we’re going to destroy our amygdala and head to Six Flags. [AP via Gawker]