Research reveals why human screams are so powerful

Science Attempts to Explain the Scream

New research has revealed human screams trigger the fear part of your brain more effectively than just about any other sound thanks to their unique properties according to new research.

A group of neuroscientists at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics have discovered that screams rouse the amygdala -- a small region of the brain in charge of generating a person's fear response.

Why this happens isn't fully understood, though one researcher told NPR it might have something to do with babies and their need to survive by activating fear in their guardian.

When they tested a variety of noises, they found that only car alarms and police sirens were able to create similar effects.

The researchers were inspired to explore the topics by their own kids.

"Many of the postdocs in my lab are in the middle of having kids and, of course, screams are very much on their mind," one researcher told NPR. "So it made perfect sense for them to be obsessed with this topic."

"You could optimize alarm signals. But you can also make scarier movies, scarier soundtracks, scarier YouTube videos. You can scare the bejeezus out of everybody," A researcher told The Washington Post.

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