Exploring the Chemistry of Fear with ACS Chemical Neuroscience

chemistry of fear

Halloween is upon us; a time of tricks and treats, frights and delights, with haunted houses and scary mazes attracting people young and the old. It’s the time of year when we go out of our way to be scared. But why is the anticipation of being spooked so enjoyable? What chemical reaction makes being scared such a scream? What do researchers know about about the chemistry of fear?

Read these articles from ACS Chemical Neuroscience on the chemistry of fear and stress:

Rethinking 5-HT1A Receptors: Emerging Modes of Inhibitory Feedback of Relevance to Emotion-Related Behavior
ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2013, 4 (1), pp 72–83
DOI: 10.1021/cn3002174

Interoception and Learning: Import to Understanding and Treating Diseases and Psychopathologies
ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2014, 5 (8), pp 624–631
DOI: 10.1021/cn5001028

Social Stress Alters Inhibitory Synaptic Input to Distinct Subpopulations of Raphe Serotonin Neurons
ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2013, 4 (1), pp 200–209
DOI: 10.1021/cn300238j

Chronic Mild Stress-Induced Alterations of Local Protein Synthesis: A Role for Cognitive Impairment
ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2017, 8 (4), pp 817–825
DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.6b00392

The Rodent Forced Swim Test Measures Stress-Coping Strategy, Not Depression-like Behavior
ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2017, 8 (5), pp 955–960
DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.7b00042

A Rodent Model of Traumatic Stress Induces Lasting Sleep and Quantitative Electroencephalographic Disturbances
ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2015, 6 (3), pp 485–493
DOI: 10.1021/cn500342u

Prefrontal Cortex-Mediated Impairments in a Genetic Model of NMDA Receptor Hypofunction Are Reversed by the Novel M1 PAM VU6004256
ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2016, 7 (12), pp 1706–1716
DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.6b00230

Want more information on the chemistry of fear?

Dr. Anne Andrews, Associate Editor of ACS Chemical Neuroscience spoke to the Today Show last year about what happens inside your body when you feel afraid.

An episode of the Bytesize Science video series explores the chemistry of fear:

Ever wish you were litterally fearless? This video explores the life of a woman living with this condition:

If that’s not enough, the ACS Reactions YouTube channel has an entire playlist of Halloween-related topics.

Get More Information About the Chemistry of Fear (And Other Emotions) in ACS Chemical Neuroscience

If you have comments or questions for the author of this post, please e-mail: Axial@acs.org.