Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creepy Crawlies On the Brain

Tarantula at the DaVinci Science Center, Allentown PA
Credit: Erin Podolak,  July 2008
I'm not scared of many things. I love snakes, heights, roller coasters, and being in the dark. Most of the typical things that freak people out don't have much of an effect on me. Except spiders. I can't stand spiders.

I think my fear of spiders stems back to being told that every year in our sleep humans EAT an average of eight spiders without even knowing it. Imagining a spider creeping along my skin and the way their little legs would feel definitely freaks me out. I'm not so afraid that I'll run away or anything, but some shrieking is usually in order.

Researchers are now using tarantula's to help study fear reactions in the brain. I think brain research is really interesting, considering how little we actually know about how the human brain works. Figuring out how the brain controls all the things we think and do can tell us a lot about ourselves. I feel the same way about genetics and studying our genetic code.

Tarantula helps scientists map how brains process fear was featured in the LA Times.

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