fight or flight

SYSK Selects: Can you die of a broken heart?

In this week's SYSK Select episode, in the early 1990s, Japanese researchers found a strange anomaly in their study subjects, five people who had inexplicable heart attacks. From this first investigation has come a scientific mystery: Is it possible that the sudden loss of a loved one can be so difficult to bear that it can actually cause a heart attack and maybe kill you? Could the romantics be right?

How Fear Works

Fear results from your brain's reaction to a stressful stimulus, and -- though it may be unpleasant -- it plays a crucial role in the life of every human being. But how does it work (and why)? Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the sensation of fear.

The fight or flight response in the sympathetic nervous system has a fairly specific function. It arouses the individual to run, run away as fast as you can to a happy place where no one ever cries or to take a stab at beating the tar out of the aggressor. Also acceptable is taking a stab at stabbing the aggressor, which still technically falls into the fight category. There is no real third option; it's pretty much limited to fighting or fleeing.