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01.06.2015 | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

Mind & Society 1/2015

There is nothing to fear but the amygdala: applying advances in the neuropsychiatry of fear to public policy

Mind & Society > Ausgabe 1/2015
Lawrence Amsel, Spencer Harbo, Amitai Halberstam


The last 25 years have seen advances in our understanding of the neuroscience and neuropsychiatry of fear. From the basic brain mechanisms of fear to new evidence-based treatments for the pathologies of fear, the field has experienced progress towards an understanding of the underpinnings of fear in the brain and its influence on behaviors. Yet, to date, there has been less than ideal incorporation of these new findings, insights and models into the public policy and economic domains. Even when notions of risk, uncertainty, and emotional decision-making are discussed, these discussions may not access insights from the latest contemporary neuroscience of fear, or clinical techniques in changing pathological fear responses. This paper will explore how a more complete incorporation of these advances may contribute to our understanding of fear and its management. Applying these advances in specific amenable policy areas may lead to new, more effective approaches to public and economic policies.

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