A woman who has no fear of absolutely anything is baffling scientists. The woman, known only as SM, lost a critical part of her brain following an illness. That brain component, known as amygdala is known to govern emotional development and learning.
Scientists at the University of Iowa know that animals without an amygdala display no sense of fear.
And now they have found that their patient, SM, shows the same fearlessness.
Without a sense of fear SM has managed all sorts of scrapes in the past showing no fear in the process or afterward. She’s been threatened with a knife, held at gunpoint and assaulted several times. That’s enough for anyone.
But now probing scientists are testing her reactions to a number of fears that occupy our attention.
That’s correct, right up there with spiders and death is the fear of public speaking. A fear that is entirely alien to Iowa resident SM!
Scientists hope that their probing might suggest treatments and cures for all types of phobias and terrors. But experience suggests that practice, preparation and rehearsal is the surest way to overcome a fear of public speaking.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+