Fear and panic in humans with bilateral amygdala damage

Justin S. Feinstein, Colin Buzza, Rene Hurlemann, Robin L. Follmer, Nader S. Dahdaleh, William H. Coryell, Michael J. Welsh, Daniel Tranel*, John A. Wemmie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Scopus citations


Decades of research have highlighted the amygdala's influential role in fear. We found that inhalation of 35% CO2 evoked not only fear, but also panic attacks, in three rare patients with bilateral amygdala damage. These results indicate that the amygdala is not required for fear and panic, and make an important distinction between fear triggered by external threats from the environment versus fear triggered internally by CO2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-272
Number of pages3
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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