t feels like your body reacts a million different ways when you get scared — the blood rushes out of your face, you jump, you gasp, your heart starts racing.

But what’s happening inside your body that makes you feel afraid?

It all comes down to a tiny, almond-shaped structure in the brain that’s called the amygdala.


It’s responsible for kickstarting your “startle response.” That sends out a distress signal to the hypothalamus, and from there, your brain makes the call between fight and flight.

Learn more about the science of fear in the new episode of “Boddities.”

Watch other “Boddities” episodes:

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

Recommended Stories

Sign up for our
Daily Recap newsletter

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine — delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.