A Woman Without Fear

Study of a fearless woman might lead to new therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder, but fear remains an important emotion, experts say.

"SM" is a bit of an emotional anomaly. The 44-year-old mother isn't scared of snakes. She doesn't shriek when she sees a scary movie. Even haunted houses don't give her chills. SM is pretty much fearless — and now scientists think they've figured out why. She lacks amygdala, clusters of neurons in the brain that play a role in fear and anxiety. Research on her might lead to new therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder, such as new forms of psychotherapy that hinder the amygdala's activity. Still, fear is an important emotion, notes neurobiologist David Anderson.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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What is the Japanese blood type theory of personality?

In some Asian countries, what's in your blood determines who you are.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • In Japan and South Korea, there is a common belief that blood types determine character much in the same way Western countries believe in the zodiac.
  • While there's little scientific evidence to back up the claim, the blood type theory of personality remains wildly popular.
  • However, how this theory came to be has its roots in a dark history.
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This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
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Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash
Mind & Brain
  • Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
  • In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
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