Friday, May 05, 2006

The Dark Night of the Soul? I'm Going to Disneyland!

Brain research has proven that the word "dread" should no longer mean "fear" or "extreme uneasiness." Time to update those anachronistic dictionary entries!

Main Entry: 1 dread
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English dreden, from Old English dr[AE]dan
transitive senses
1 a : to fear greatly b archaic : to regard with awe
2 : to feel extreme reluctance to meet or face
intransitive senses : to be apprehensive or fearful

Main Entry: 2 dread
Function: noun
1 a : great fear especially in the face of impending evil b : extreme uneasiness in the face of a disagreeable prospect c archaic : AWE
2 : one causing fear or awe

But seriously, did we really need an expensive fMRI study to tell us this:

Study Points to a Solution for Dread: Distraction
Published: May 5, 2006

For those who dread a colonoscopy or a root canal so much that they avoid it altogether, scientists have good news.

The first study ever to look at where sensations of dread arise in the brain finds that contrary to what is widely believed, dread does not involve fear and anxiety in the moment of an unpleasant event. Instead, it derives from the attention that people devote beforehand to what they think will be extremely unpleasant.

So the solution to dread, the researchers say, is self-distraction.

SO F*** the Pain Away... Peaches would say.

Yeah, still haven't read the Science article by Berns et al., how did you know??

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At May 09, 2006 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what you're really saying is that somebody should do an imaging study on the effect that tracks from "Peaches Teaches" have on the dread centers of the cortex, right?

I think the field of musical cognition really could use this jump-start.

At May 09, 2006 1:24 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Maybe your study on musical cognition could be combined with an imaging study on the effects of smelling the putative pheromones, AND and EST, in gay and straight men & women. So Peaches + AND, Peaches + EST, Peaches + lavender oil.


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