Big carnivores are scary, both to humans and the animals they prey upon. But as a new study demonstrates, the fear that these predators instill among their prey can have a positive influence on ecological health and biodiversity, a finding with important implications for conservation.
Lately I’ve been having nightmares about robots.
Death is scary no matter what–but it gets even scarier once your imagination, and all your most insane phobias, begin to take hold. We white-knuckled our way through this list of the most terrifying ways to die. (Got a scarier one? Share it in the comments. Nightmares for everyone!)
Zebedee spends her days largely alone, nervously swimming in a clear aquarium, there for the entertainment of tourists dining at Abu Dubai's Burj Al Arab hotel. Surrounded by only a few fish, with nary a male shark in sight, Zebedee has defied biology. For the last four years, the tiger shark has experienced…
It's that time of year again, when people attempt to spook us with stories about ghosts and monsters, but let's face it: With global warming cooking the planet, melting glaciers, and the build-up of nuclear arsenals, the real stories are much, much scarier.
Believe it or not, this actually has been tested out, and by no less an institution than the United States Military. Learn about a fear experiment that should have led to a lot of "discharged with sincere apologies," notes on service records.
Joy Hirsch is a professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology and one of the early developers of the fMRI — the imaging technique responsible for teaching us much of what we know about the brain's structure. She's here today to answer our questions about the brain, imaging, and fear!
Why do we scare the hell out of ourselves? Why do we pay for the privilege? Is it pure thrill-seeking, or is it what's known as counterphobic behavior?
Why can't you think straight when you're terrified? It's a question that haunted many people in the wake of yesterday's explosions in Boston, and neuroscience journalist Maia Szalavitz explains the answer to you over at Time.
The amygdala is popularly referred to as the brain's "fear center," due to the central role it plays in regulating the body's fear response. So pivotal is this small, almond-shaped structure's involvement, that S.M. (a woman whose amygdala has been ravaged by a rare condition known as Urbach–Wiethe disease), has been…
Researchers at Duke University and the National Institutes of Health have developed an experimental drug that calms the fears of anxious mice. They also believe that the exact same changes in brain chemistry could work on humans — a discovery that could lead to a "courage pill." But would we want to live in a world…
Have you ever been so frightened or surprised by something that you peed yourself, even just a little? It's ok, you're in the company of friends — nobody is going to make fun of you. After all, it's not like it was your fault; strictly speaking, if you did leak a little bit the last time you were scared, it was…
As horror-flick titles go, Night of the Living Chaos and Rosemary's Nonlinearity aren't the catchiest. But filmmakers know that chaos - the mathematical kind - is scary. Now scientists know it too.
So you want to terrify somebody. It's the kind of thing we all want, some of the time — and it turns out there are some substances (and sounds) you can use to do it fairly reliably. For your morbid edification, we present this list of fear-inducing chemicals, proteins, hormones, and frequencies.
Fear is one of the most universally understood human emotions. Every one of us is familiar with the feelings, behaviors, and symptoms engendered by fear — so familiar, in fact, that we can sense it in the voices and actions of our friends and loved ones, and even recognize it in the facial expressions of complete…
When you happen upon a couple of bear cubs in the woods, what's the first thing that should come to mind? If you answered "I wanna squeeze 'em," you're wrong. It should be "where's the mom?" And with good reason. Numerous non-human mammals are known to exhibit heightened levels of aggression in defense of their young.
Nature, we are told, equipped us with all sorts of instincts to help us survive. However, most of them just get us into trouble. Especially the fear response ones. It's true that we live in a very different world than the primates who evolved these responses, but often what we do when we're afraid doesn't seem to make…
Yesterday we posted Rodney Ascher's The S From Hell, a short documentary about people afraid of the 1960s Screen Gems logo. But it turns out that Screen Gems isn't the only logo to inspire profound existential terror.
A woman with a rare disease that destroyed the fear center of her brain is completely unable to be scared or recognize when other people are afraid. Her story reveals why we need negative emotions, and could help PTSD sufferers.