Thanks for an interesting article, Andrea. Sapolsky's Stanford lectures on human behavior are also very enlightening, as he talks extensively about the interactions between the frontal cortex and the amygdala/hippocampus. One key thing to bear in mind is that despite all appearances to the contrary we actually have a lot of control over what we permit into our brains. We're not obliged to watch/listen to endless sensationalist media reportage. We're not obliged to spend hours gawping at context-free death tolls that serve to convince us that we're in deadly danger (which, in reality, we're not). If we consciously limit the things we expose ourselves to and content ourselves instead with a few minutes each day looking at real data rather than absorbing breathless media nonsense, we're far less likely to come to wildly incorrect conclusions about the actual (as opposed to perceived) risks we face each day. Unfortunately most people seem to think media nonsense = truth, and this is always wrong. Even well-meaning media outlets conform to the "if it bleeds, it leads" modus operandi because grabbing eyeballs is Job One for all media organizations and social media companies. Hence sensationalism everywhere, and hence our totally distorted perceptions of risk.

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