Attack in fear

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Chapter 11 endnote 20, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

Women are supposed to be victims, and good victims shouldn’t become angry; they’re supposed to be afraid. [...] This belief exists even though all mammals attack during threat.

There are many cases in nature where animals attack in threatening situations from which there is no escape. For example, a rat will attack when faced with a predator like an cat or an electric shock prod.[1][2][3][4][5] Squirrels attack rattlesnakes.[6][7][8] So technically speaking, from a standpoint of population thinking, if heat-of-passion is an admissible defense for anger, it should also be admissible for cases involving fear!


Notes on the Notes

  1. Fanselow, Michael S. 1994. "Neural organization of the defensive behavior system responsible for fear." Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 1 (4): 429-438.
  2. Fanselow, Michael S., and Laurie S. Lester. 1988. "A functional behavioristic approach to aversively motivated behavior: Predatory imminence as a determinant of the topography of defensive behavior", In Evolution and Learning, edited by Robert C. Bolles and Michael D. Beecher, 185-211. Hillsdale, N. J: Erlbaum.
  3. Faure, Alexis, Sheila M. Reynolds, Jocelyn M. Richard, and Kent C. Berridge. 2008. "Mesolimbic dopamine in desire and dread: enabling motivation to be generated by localized glutamate disruptions in nucleus accumbens." Journal of Neuroscience 28 (28): 7184-7192.
  4. Reynolds, Sheila M., and Kent C. Berridge. 2008. "Emotional environments retune the valence of appetitive versus fearful functions in nucleus accumbens." Nature neuroscience 11 (4): 423-425.
  5. Treit, Dallas, J. P. J. Pinel, and H. C. Fibiger. 1981. "Conditioned defensive burying: a new paradigm for the study of anxiolytic agents." Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 15 (4): 619-626.
  6. Coss, Richard G., and Donald H. Owings. 1989. "Rattler Battlers." Natural History 5: 30-35.
  7. Coss, Richard G., and Donald H. Owings. 1978. "Snake‐directed Behavior by Snake Naive and Experienced California Ground Squirrels in a Simulated Burrow." Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 48 (4): 421-435.
  8. Owings, Donald H., and Richard G. Coss. 1977. "Snake mobbing by California ground squirrels: adaptive variation and ontogeny." Behaviour 62 (1): 50-68.