In Brief: Brain pathways to fear

In Brief

Brain pathways to fear

A brain imaging study of people with the disorder known as Williams syndrome contributes to the understanding of human emotional processes by targeting a distinct circuit that governs anxiety associated with social situations.

Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder with symptoms that include unusual friendliness, empathy, and lack of social anxiety. People with the disorder are socially uninhibited and poor at reading social cues; for example, they often approach strangers and start conversations. But they are more susceptible than average to other kinds of anxiety and phobias.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »