Fear-free life? Removing a part of your brain could make it possible—in theory

fear

Brain surgery is not usually something that people actively seek out. However, there may be an exception: the idea of the removal of the amygdala seems to hold a fascination for many people.

So what’s going on? Those curious about amygdala removal seem to see it as the embodiment of fear, anxiety and stress. Would its removal really render you fearless? What would the side effects be?

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[T]here do exist cases of ‘natural amygdalectomy’ in otherwise healthy people. The most famous such patient is called SM, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Urbach-Wiethe disease, causing her to suffer selective degeneration of the amygdala bilaterally.

Patient SM has been referred to as the “woman without fear”, as she displays no fear of snakes and spiders, or threatening situations, and is reported to be able to discuss traumatic events in her life with no distress whatsoever.

Related article:  Microsleep: What happens to our brains when we’re both awake and asleep?

[However,] SM has been reported to have some difficulties in social interaction, including an impaired ability to take the perspective of others, and possible difficulties making eye-contact.

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So, while ridding oneself of the curse of the amygdala might be technically possible, it’s not clear that it would be a good thing. Ultimately, evolution gave us the amygdala for a reason, and a life without fear might be a shortened one.

Read full, original post: “Can I Have My Amygdala Removed?”

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