Several distinct systems for anxious trepidation may exist in the brain. One FEAR circuit that courses parallel to the RAGE circuit has been extensively studied. When artificially aroused, this circuit promotes freezing and hiding at low levels of arousal and flight during more intense arousal. We can be confident that other animals experience negative affect when this circuit is aroused, since they avoid environmental contexts in which such brain stimulation has been experienced in the past. Humans stimulated at homologous brain sites are commonly engulfed by intense anxiety. If it turns out to be that there is much less variability across species in the subcortical FEAR systems of the brain that helps generate anxiety than in the cognitive structures that regulate such feelings, then it follows that the study of the FEAR system in animals constitutes an excellent strategy for coming to terms with the affective nature of fear in humans. This system as well as other variants of anxiety systems are more fully discussed in Chapter 16.
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