Heights and snakes are my worst phobias, but spiders aren’t very far behind.  Which is why this gives me the heebie-jeebies:

A study of 20 people with a medium to low fear of spiders found the human brain responds to threats based on proximity, trajectory and expectations.

Dr Dean Mobbs, a neuroscientist from Cambridge University, said: “There are several regions of the brain that are triggered when we see a tarantula – particularly the panic area which is situated in the centre.

“The UK has one of the highest rates for phobias about spiders and snakes because we don’t come across them very much.”

Dr Mobbs hopes to develop an aversion therapy to prevent the “cascade of events in in the brain” which causes spider-induced terror.

During the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, participants placed their foot into a box and rated their level of fear as they watched via a video link as a tarantula was placed closer and closer to them.

Brrrr.  I can’t think of anything that would increase my fear of tarantulas better than sticking my foot in a box with one.  Furthermore, I don’t much see the point in developing an “aversion therapy” for arachnophobia if there simply isn’t a spider problem in G.B.

No, it strikes me that this whole “study” is nothing more than thinly-veiled sadism.  Stay away from me, Dr. Mobbs!