“Today, we’re going to learn another of another way a person experiences fear,” Jonathan spoke crisply. “A lot of fears and anxieties are learned through communication. If someone tells you to be afraid of a dog, then the brain responds as if you actually were.”
Jonathan was holding what he told the school and students was a study. It technically was a study, but not for what the school was expecting. They thought it was a hands-on way for students to understand how the brain is affected by fear, which in a way, it was. For Jonathan though, it was his way of finding his next targets. Those that reacted quickly in the way he wanted, would prove to be his next immediate targets. He needed people who would scare easily, quickly and fast enough to get the needed chemicals from the brain.
He currently had ten of his students in the classroom, dismissing the others for the day. Among those students, was Morigana Drake. She had shown an interest in his class and when he mentioned the study, her hand shot up, asking to participate. There was something going on in her mind he couldn’t quite figure out. The others were open books and who he thought would be the easiest to crack.
“I want you to try and understand the neural basis of fear and anxiety,” He spoke. “Studying these imagined fears, we can treat many things like panic anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Nearly 19 million Americans suffer from this disorders and struggle coping every day. With this, the potential benefit in this line of research is enormous. It is also going to teach not to believe everything you’re told. Now, sit at the table I have set up. Ms. Drake,” He spoke, rolling the sleeves of his dress shirt up. “I would like you to attach the pads and electrodes to your fellow classmates here, here and here,” He said, pointing to the spots on himself. “You will all then have these placed on you, they will monitor your pulse.”
“I’m going to show you a random sequence of blue and yellow squares. Occasionally, when the blue square is shown, you will receive a small shock. In front of you, is a disclosure the school is requiring you to sign before participating. However, not participating will effect half your grade. Just as participating will have. ” He smirked.
The alarm was already evident on most of the students faces. A few remained passive or neutral, but he knew it’d become a different story once it began.
Good idea, came the voice, half their grade? Who’s going to pass that up?
He wasn’t concerned about anyone not signing. Jonathan knew most of these students needed this for their grade or else they wouldn’t pass the semester. Too bad he didn’t expect everyone to see the next one.
Morigana attached the last electrode to a boy named Richard, trying to also pay attention to Professor Crane as he spoke. To say she was exhausted currently was an exaggeration, but she had to push through it. Coming from Metropolis, she thought she’d be able to handle another city, but Gotham was it’s own entity. In all honesty, with the way the city was run, you’d think they weren’t even attached to the rest of the country. It had a few spots that were okay, like University City, where the three colleges in Gotham where. They were all so close to each other that the students built their own little suburb around them. It was constantly patrolled by campus security as well as the GCPD. It was one of the few areas in Gotham that were somewhat safe. Somewhat. They were still surrounded by the rest of the city and it’s noises. Metropolis wasn’t that great either in some spots, but they were at least protected more than Gotham was.
With a feeling of satisfaction after checking everyone over, Morigana sat down in her spot and pulled her hair into a tight ponytail, preparing to attach the electrodes and monitors to herself. She had learned once before that sticky things and long hair don’t mix well together. She placed the last monitoring piece to her temple, placing a pale hand on the table to attach the rest of the monitoring equipment. Just like in the ER, she told herself.
The red head wasn’t exactly sure at this point why she even requested to be apart of this. Well, that’s not exactly true. It was also why she was taking psychology. Growing up, Morigana felt like she never had the normal fears other kids did. Sure, the first few times experiencing something, she’d be afraid. Just like any kid, but it’d always quickly go away. It was something that stuck throughout her life. She wasn’t sure why fear didn’t seem to register in her brain the right way. She wanted to figure that out and get to the bottom of it. Studying the way the mind worked seemed to be the best way to figure that out
Getting shocked over a blue square. Ha. It didn’t sound like a lot of fun, but it also couldn’t be as bad as getting tased in the side. This was probably nothing compared to that, but it didn’t mean it was going to be fun either.
“Please keep track to the best of your ability, your physical reactions to the study. I will be keeping track as well,” Professor Crane spoke, taking the lens cap off of the video camera situated on his desk.
Let the fun begin, came the raspy, deep voice in his head.