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fear factors How do we perceive a sudden twig snap as a possible threat? Dr. Marieke Gilmartin turns on and off different parts of the brain to solve this mystery. The snap of a nearby twig on a solitary forest hike is enough to put anyone on high alert. Our brains go into modes of fear and preparation because we recognize that an unexpected sound can often be followed by danger. The sound itself is not dangerous, of course, and the danger — a predator, for example — may not present itself for some time afterward, if at all, but our brains still associate the sound with the potential consequence. We assume these reactions to be natural and instinctive, but according to Dr. Marieke Gilmartin, they’re actually a learned behavior, crucial for human adaptation to our world.

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marquette university discover 2017

Discover Magazine 2017  

Discover Magazine 2017

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