Does Fear Prevent or Promote Ideas

Experiencing fear in any situation changes your state of mind. When it comes to the unlocking or incubation of ideas, does fear prevent or promote?

In most organised brainstorming sessions the organisers typically aim to create a free or relaxed environment to unlock new and different ideas and it is considered that stressful or fearful environments prevent the flow of ideas.

Does creating short moments of fear bring a heightened or changed state of mind that promotes ideas.

“How scientists discovered the “fear center” of the brain

Fear is one of the most universally understood human emotions. Every one of us is familiar with the feelings, behaviors, and symptoms engendered by fear — so familiar, in fact, that we can sense it in the voices and actions of our friends and loved ones, and even recognize it in the facial expressions of complete strangers. Yet the neural underpinnings of fear remain something of a mystery.

Having said that, much of what we do know about how our brains process fear boils down to two tiny little lumps of neurons; whether you’re a human, a rat, a monkey or a mouse, when it comes to processing fear, the vast majority of research says that the most important parts of your brain are your amygdalae, a pair of almond-shaped clusters of neurons sequestered deep within your medial temporal lobes.

For over seventy years, studies have suggested that these unassuming little amygdalae actually play an indispensable role in processing brain signals important to perceiving and experiencing fear, but it’s taken us up until now to confirm just how important they really are.

The significance of the amygdala in the processing of fear likely has to do with its position relative to several key regions of the brain. The amygdalae receive many of their main inputs from the visual, auditory and somatosensory cortices, while its primary outputs are to the hypothalamus, which regulates the production of hormones like adrenaline. One of the main roles of the amygdala is therefore thought to be coupling the perception of a threat via sensory stimuli to a fear-induced fight-or-flight response, initiated in part by the release of hormones like adrenaline, triggered by the amygdala via the hypothalamus.

This, of course, is a vastly simplified explanation of what’s going on inside that head of yours every time a horror flick scares the ever-loving crap out of you; in theory, the various inputs and outputs leading to and from your amygdalae are actually involved in several layers of cross-communication that allow for them to regulate your behavior (and vice versa).”

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