Biological basis of fear essay

This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades. However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as John B. Watsonwho in his manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior.

Biological basis of fear essay

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Anxiety is a psychological, physiological, and behavioral state induced in animals and humans by a threat to well-being or survival, either actual or potential.

It is characterized by increased arousal, expectancy, autonomic and neuroendocrine activation, and specific behavior patterns. The function of these changes is to facilitate coping with an adverse or unexpected situation.

Pathological anxiety interferes with the ability to cope successfully with life challenges. These models have been instrumental in establishing the biological correlates of fear and anxiety, although the recent development of noninvasive investigation methods in humans, such as the various neuroimaging techniques, certainly opens new avenues of research in this field.

Our current knowledge of the biological bases of fear and anxiety is already impressive, and further progress toward models or theories integrating contributions from the medical, biological, and psychological sciences can be expected.

This first phase of the emotional response is followed by a reactive phase, where muscles come back into action, but the attention still remains highly focused on the emotional situation. With the knowledge of brain physiology and anatomy that was available at the end of the 19th century, hypotheses on the mechanisms possibly involved in emotions were of course Biological basis of fear essay.

These three complementary aspects are present in even the most basic emotions, such as fear. However, a brief historical survey of the more biologically oriented ones may help to set some important conceptual issues. Cannon and Bard criticized this theory and proposed that the neurophysiological aspects of emotions are subcortical and involve the thalamus.

Thus, a sudden noise or loss of physical support can induce an innate fear reaction, and restraint of bodily movements triggers rage.

Our current knowledge of the biological bases of fear and anxiety is already impressive, and further progress toward models or theories integrating contributions from the medical, biological, and psychological sciences can be expected. The biological basis of fear in terms of psychological and behavioural responses relates to emotion and anxiety, which is an advanced form of fear. Further research should be directed to the neurochemical processes that occur in the brain and the chemical components involved in response to fear. The biological basis of personality is the collection of brain systems and mechanisms that underlie human personality. On a broad level, this involves the autonomic nervous system, fear-processing circuits in the amygdala, the reward pathway from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. All of these.

For him, connections between the cerebral hemispheres and the hypothalamus, and between the cerebral hemispheres and the dorsal thalamus mediate emotions.

He held the view that emotion implies behavior expression and feeling experience, subjective aspects.

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Expression depends on the hypothalamus, and experience on the cortex. More recently, Schachter emphasized the importance of cognitive processes: He also showed that the visceral response appears to be a necessary, although not sufficient, condition for the occurrence of emotion. The main function of fear and anxiety is to act as a signal of danger, threat, or motivational conflict, and to trigger appropriate adaptive responses.

For some authors, fear and anxiety are undistinguishable, whereas others believe that they are distinct phenomena.

Extract of essay "Biological Basis of Morality (Animals)"

Ethologists define fear as a motivational state aroused by specific stimuli that give rise to defensive behavior or escape.

Young animals may show an innate fear reaction to sudden noise or disturbances in the environment, but rapidly become habituated to them. When they are used to a familiar environment, then a fear of novelty may develop.

Ethologists have also made the important observation that fear is often mixed up with other aspects of motivation.

Thus, conflict between fear and approach behavior may results in displacement activities eg, self-grooming in rats. Such displacement activities may be the behavioral expression of an anxious state, but anxiety is a concept that is apparently not used by ethologists, perhaps because their definition of fear does in fact include all the more biological aspects of anxiety.

Many authors, however, have argued that differences in their etiologies, response patterns, time courses, and intensities seem to justify a clear distinction between anxiety and fear.

Anxiety is a generalized response to an unknown threat or internal conflict, whereas fear is focused on known external danger. The uncertainty regarding these situations highlights a lack of control that contributes to feelings of anxiety and makes coping more difficult.

At the heart of this structure is a sense of uncontrollability focused largely on possible future threats, danger, or other upcoming potentially negative events, in contrast to fear, where the danger is present and imminent.

In fact, anxiety may just be a more elaborate form of fear, which provides the individual with an increased capacity to adapt and plan for the future. Defense and coping strategies Fear or anxiety result in the expression of a range of adaptive or defensive behaviors, which are aimed at escaping from the source of danger or motivational conflict.

These behaviors depend on the context and the repertoire of the species. Active coping strategies are used when escape from threat is possible, and the autonomic changes associated with these active strategies are mediated predominantly by sympathetic activation hypertension, tachycardia.

This is the fight-or-flight response originally described by Cannon. This type of passive response was originally described by Engel and Schmale as a conservation-withdrawal strategy. These two strategies have distinct and successive roles, and are modulated by the cognitive apprehension of the environment and probability of success, eg, whether or not there is a route of escape.

Thus, when an animal faces a predator, freezing is preferentially activated when the source of known danger is still far away.

SparkNotes: Emotion: The Biological Bases of Emotion

Individual differences in coping styles do exist and may also influence this choice. These coping styles are characterized by consistent behavioral and neuroendocrine patterns, and may explain individual differences in vulnerability to stress-induced diseases.

The capacity to cope successfully with life challenges, whether innate or acquired, is probably a primary determinant of resistance to stress-induced diseases. Barlow has defined three interacting sets of vulnerability factors for the development of human anxiety disorders in humans:Essay Writing Guide.

Learn the art of brilliant essay writing with help from our teachers. Human Emotion and Motivation - Biological Basis of Behavior. Extracts from this document Introduction. The amygdala is a vital element in the production of fear. It also assists in maintaining anxiety and many other emotions (Martin, ).

Our current knowledge of the biological bases of fear and anxiety is already impressive, and further progress toward models or theories integrating contributions from the medical, biological, and psychological sciences can be expected.

Biological Basis of Fear Abstract With the recent terrorist attacks on American soil, many individuals are physiologically responding in a similar fearful way.

Many Americans have been impacted by the events of September 11, , and the incidents of postal terrorism with anthrax following. Biological Basis of Behavior William James- mental activity is also physiological activity Neuron- basic unit of the It is also human beings’ response to fear or reaction to pain (Cherry, ).

Biorhythms and Aggression By Catherine Walker Topic I: Bio-rhythms (separated into six essay topics) Biological rhythms: There are three.

The biological basis of personality is the collection of brain systems and mechanisms that underlie human personality. On a broad level, this involves the autonomic nervous system, fear-processing circuits in the amygdala, the reward pathway from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex.

All of these. THE BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR. BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF SELF-PRESERVATION. thirst, asphyxiation, fear, or exhaustion.

Biological basis of fear essay

If conditions change so the instinctive strategy is dangerous rather than beneficial, the animal can die. For example, the fawn's freeze response to fear would be deadly if there was no cover to hide in .

The Biological Basis of Human Behavior