By: Seth Borenstein, AP
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Steve Maren's research on fear and the brain appearing in many media outlets
From the article:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Science is getting a grip on people's fears. As Americans revel in all things scary on Halloween, scientists say they now know better what's going on inside our brains when a spook jumps out and scares us. Knowing how fear rules the brain should lead to treatments for a major medical problem: When irrational fears go haywire.
"We're making a lot of progress," said University of Michigan psychology professor Stephen Maren. "We're taking all of what we learned from the basic studies of animals and bringing that into the clinical practices that help people. Things are starting to come together in a very important way."
About 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. A Harvard Medical School study estimated the annual cost to the U.S. economy in 1999 at roughly $42 billion.
Fear is a basic primal emotion that is key to evolutionary survival. It's one we share with animals. Genetics plays a big role in the development of overwhelming — and needless — fear, psychologists say. But so do traumatic events....
To read the remainder of this article, as well as others Maren has appeared in recently, visit the following: