Brain Byte

Patient S.M.

  • Published9 Dec 2020
  • Author Calli McMurray
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

Because of damage to her amygdala, Patient S.M. lives a life without fear. This may sound appealing, but fear helps us avoid danger.

Brain Bytes showcase essential facts about neuroscience.

Patient sm Brain byte
Design by A. Tong

Design by Adrienne Tong.

Image: Courtesy of Iowa Neurological Patient Registry at the University of Iowa.



Feinstein, J. S., Adolphs, R., Damasio, A., & Tranel, D. (2011). The human amygdala and the induction and experience of fear. Current biology : CB, 21(1), 34–38.

Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Damasio, H. et al. (1994). Impaired recognition of emotion in facial expressions following bilateral damage to the human amygdala. Nature, 372, 669–672.

Yong, E. (2019, May 17). Meet the woman without fear. Retrieved November 12, 2020, from

Parida, J. R., Misra, D. P., & Agarwal, V. (2015). Urbach-Wiethe syndrome. BMJ case reports, 2015, bcr2015212443.

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