A recent paper in Neuropsychologia got a lot of attention on Twitter and at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting in Boston over the weekend. It discusses what can happen when the amygdala, a region of the brain known for regulating emotional responses, receives direct electrical stimulation. A thrill ride – but for only one study participant. Two of nine people noticed the electrical stimulation. One individual reported (a video is included in the paper):
“It was, um, it was terrifying, it was just…it was like I was about to get attacked by a dog. Like the moment, like someone unleashes a dog on you, and it’s just like it’s so close…
He also spontaneously reported “this is fun.” He further explained that he could distinguish feelings in his body that would normally be associated with fear recognized and the absence of an actual threat, making the experience “fun”.
But wait, why were Emory neuroscientists Cory Inman, Jon Willie and Stephan Hamann and colleagues doing this? Read more