Let's talk about Fear of Public Speaking & Genetics
How it works
When the brain senses a threat in the environment, a part of the brain called the amygdala responds by activating the “fight or flight” response. This response includes many biological changes, like a faster heart rate and increased blood flow to the brain. Studies have found that when speaking in front of others, people with a fear of public speaking may have more active amygdalas.
The genetics behind the fear of public speaking
23andMe researchers identified 802 genetic markers that are associated with having a fear of public speaking. In addition to genetics, other factors like age, sex, and ancestry can also influence one’s chances of having a fear of public speaking.
Did you know?
For those with a fear of public speaking, preparation and practice can help. Some people may benefit from talking to a healthcare professional.
Want to learn more? 23andMe’s Health + Ancestry Service can give you a closer look at the genetic variants that affect the fear of public speaking. Order now and you’ll receive 150+ personalized reports with insights on your health, wellness, traits and more.
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Mayo Clinic (2017, May 17). “Fear of public speaking: how can I overcome it?” Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/specific-phobias/expert-answers/fear-of-public-speaking/faq-20058416
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Tillfors M et al. (2001). “Cerebral blood flow in subjects with social phobia during stressful speaking tasks: a PET study.” Am J Psychiatry. 158(8):1220-6.