A recent article published in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" reports on a study by Dean Mobbs of the Medical Research Council-Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, United Kingdom. A study participant in a brain scanner (fMRI) watched a Brazilian salmon pink tarantula that appeared to be getting close to the participant's foot (the participant was only viewing pictures of the spider and there was, in fact, no spider anywhere near). Pre-frontal brain regions were activated when the participant thought the spider was further away; limbic emotional layer brain regions were activated when the participant thought the spider was getting closer. (Incidentally, this goes along with my perception of the process of "downshifting.") Researchers also concluded that when human beings have an expectation that something's going to be scary, they tend to prepare themselves for it. Eventually, these types of studies may provide information about how to deal more effectively with phobias (that appear to be associated with the limbic-emotional brain layer).