Saturday, December 18, 2010

"I'm Not Afraid... "

"In the 1930s, researchers discovered that when a certain part of monkeys’ brains were removed, the animals became fearless. They approached snakes, started batting them around like sticks and played with their hissing tongues. This experiment has been repeated in animals numerous times, and the scientific consensus is that when the amygdala is removed, an animal loses any sense of fear. Patient SM, because of a rare condition called lipoid proteinosis, has holes where her amygdala would normally reside. Researchers found that she, like the monkeys, has no fear of creatures like snakes and spiders, which ordinarily alarm most people. But while this behavior is relatively benign, the researchers also found that SM put her life at risk. In one instance, she walked through a park alone at night and was attacked by a man with a knife. “The following day, she again walked through the same park,” Mr. Feinstein said. 
Humans, Like Animals, Are Fearless Without Amygdala"

Can you imagine having absolutely no fear of anything or anyone? Well that's what patient SM's life is like, she is not cautious about anything she does. This is very dangerous and she needs to be watched at all times, because she could jump off a bridge or walk at someone who's pointing a gun. Scientists have been studying patient SM and trying to teach her to become more caution in her everyday life. They hope that if they can make a break through with her and teach her how to be more cautious; they could use similar techniques to help people who are too cautious or afraid. I can not imagine going through life being a shut-in or being unafraid of everything, but there are people out there that do. If scientists could make a break through with patient SM, then there will be hope for the people who suffer with these conditions everyday.

No comments:

Post a Comment