Forecast triggers the 'Chicken Little' lobe in brains of shoppers

First come the television weather forecasters, with their fancy Doppler radar and satellite imagery, warning of deep snow.

Then come the shoppers with their double coupons and grocery lists, seeking the essentials: bread, milk and toilet paper.

So it was yesterday at local grocery and hardware stores as local residents stocked up on supplies, preparing for last night’s snowstorm.

AccuWeather meteorologists predicted that 3 to 6 inches of snow would fall overnight in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

It’s not exactly blizzard conditions, but it was enough to send some into a tizzy.

Dr. Paul Friday, chief of clinical psychology at UPMC Shadyside in Pittsburgh, blames that on a part of the brain called the amygdala, an almond-shaped portion of the brain that regulates emotions and triggers our response to danger.

Friday calls it the “Chicken Little lobe.”

“If there are 100 good things going on, it’s the amygdala that will pick out the one that will kill us. Therefore, we get in line … and load up on things that we already have at home.” —Sam Kusic and A.J. PanianForecast triggers the ‘Chicken Little’ lobe in brains of shoppers (Tribune-Review)

This is some very clever writing.