Woman Fears Nothing

by Liz Colville

A woman who goes by the initials S.M. has a type of brain damage that has wiped fear, the subject of yesterday’s neuroscience lecture, from her brain. S.M. has damage to both of her amygdalae, the part of the brain where fear is thought to hang out. Scientists are obviously fascinated by the woman and have put her through three years of testing involving haunted houses, spiders, etc., but — nothing. Her life is also kind of one long Fear Factor episode: she’s been held at gunpoint and was nearly killed “during a domestic incident,” but — nothing.

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