overcoming fear

Anne Dillard said "You can't test courage cautiously," but Institute scientists have found a way to test it fairly safely, at least. One might think of courage as an abstract idea, but it turns out that acts of bravery reveal a unique activity pattern in the brain. An experiment at the Institute to identify the brain mechanisms that take control when the call to action conquers fear involved a live snake on a remote-controlled trolley and volunteers with a fear of snakes in an fMRI.