Researchers at ETH Zurich have found that our gut instinct could have a major influence on how we react to fear.
The researchers conducted their study on a group of rats, cutting off their afferent nerve, part of the vagus nerve, through which the brain receives signals from the stomach. This allowed the brains of the rats to still control the processes in the stomach but the brains no longer received signals from the stomach.
The researchers found that the rats were less afraid of bright lights and open spaces if their vagus nerve was cut, compared to a control group that had their vagus nerve intact. The researchers analyzed the brains of the rats and found that the loss of signals from the stomach influenced the production of neurotransmitters in the brain.