Certain areas of the brain like the ventromedial prefrontal cortex may be associated with how people control their reactions in the face of a traumatic event.
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have identified the size of the brain area as the factor that affects the incidence of people developing anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder following an accident.
People who go through an intense and traumatic experience associated with shock and grief often develop the post-traumatic stress disorder as part of their heightened levels of panic and anxiety. However, other people who have gone through the similar experiences may not develop such intense anxiety disorders, the their size of the brain structure may be the factor here.
Researchers for the study had used structural magnetic resonance images to find out that those participants in the study who appeared to have less anxious responses seem to have a thicker ventromedial prefrontal cortex of the brain. The results of the study suggest that a bigger ventromedial prefrontal cortex of the brain can be preventive in controlling panic attacks and help the people to adapt to stress in an acceptable way.
Reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, July 2005