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The fear reaction starts in the brain's amygdala region and spreads through the body to prepare the body for the best defense or flight reaction. Fear also triggers the release of stress hormones and the sympathetic nervous system.
During a dangerous situation, the brain becomes hyperalert, pupils dilate, the bronchi dilate, breathing accelerates, heart rate and blood pressure rise, blood flow and a stream of glucose to the skeletal muscles increase, and organs not vital in survival slow down, such as the gastrointestinal system.
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Fear protects organisms against a perceived threat to their integrity or existence. Fear can be as simple as moving away from a negative stimulus, or as complex as existential anxiety in a human.
We learn fear through observation, personal experiences, and through the instruction of spoken or written notes. The perception of control is vital to how we experience and respond to fear.
The main factor in how we experience fear has to do with the context.
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