Mental Check In

Dealing With Arachnophobia? Understanding the Fear

Scientists say that the fear of spiders became part of our DNA during evolution. Babies are born with an innate fear of spiders and snakes.

Some phycologists believe it is actually the angular legs, dark colors, and unpredictable movements that make us so afraid.

Fortunately, the University of Queensland researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute have discovered a way to change DNA and improve a person’s ability to shut off fear.

While fear is important for survival and to keep people safe from danger, humans would have the ability to block the fear when it is not needed.

The object is not to make a person unafraid or to remove memories but to use different memories to inhibit the fear memories.

It would not create fearless people; you would still have an understanding something is dangerous and you want to be careful, but you don’t want it to compromise your ability to function normally.

Researchers hope to one day understand the full picture of how fear extinction memory is formed and stored in the brain.

Mary Newman

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