Explain the mechanism of the fight or flight response?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    When we experience excessive stress—whether from internal worry or external circumstance—a bodily reaction is triggered, called the "fight or flight" response. This response is hard-wired into our brains and represents a genetic wisdom designed to protect us from bodily harm. This response actually corresponds to an area of our brain called the hypothalamus, which—when stimulated—initiates a sequence of nerve cell firing and chemical release that prepares our body for running or fighting.

    When our fight or flight response is activated, sequences of nerve cell firing occur and chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream. These patterns of nerve cell firing and chemical release cause our body to undergo a series of very dramatic changes. Our respiratory rate increases. Blood is shunted away from our digestive tract and directed into our muscles and limbs, which require extra energy and fuel for running and fighting. Our pupils dilate. Our awareness intensifies. Our sight sharpens. Our impulses quicken. Our perception of pain diminishes. Our immune system mobilizes with increased activation. We become prepared—physically and psychologically—for fight or flight.


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  • 3 years ago

    Fight Or Flight Mechanism

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  • 1 decade ago

    In short:

    When an organism feels threatened the fight or flight response kicks in. The muscles tighten, heart rate goes up, the eyes sharpen.... The organism is ready to fight or flight the threat.

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  • Tara
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The "fight or flight" response has obvious evolutionary value; the more primitive parts of our brain react to a perceived threat by getting our bodies ready to fight or run away from danger: we breathe faster to take in more oxygen to fuel energy expenditure, our heart pumps more rapidly to move blood to our muscles, diverting it from digestion and other processes, and so forth. Unfortunately, this part of our brain, which is not under conscious control, does not recognize the difference between a sabre-toothed tiger and having to give a speech in class, and these preparations are not nearly so useful in the second instance. In fact they can leave us feeling dizzy, short of breath and lightheaded. Fortunately, we can interrupt the feedback loop by consciously slowing our breathing, consciously relaxing our muscles, etc. Doing this tells our brain that there is no threat.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I donnt think newton third law of action equals opposite reaction is applicable here

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