A Pac-Man video game that delivered electric shocks to players has been used to shed light on how the brain act in responses to forthcoming danger. The study revealed that when humans face some sort of threat they alter their behavior depending on whether the threat is distant or nearby. Researchers found that the closer the gamers got to danger, the more they simply acted on instinct. As the volunteers played the game, the MRI scanner which monitored their brain activity showed which regions of the brain were receiving the highest flow of blood. The higher the blood flow to an area of the brain, the more active that area is. The forebrain is active during periods of anxiety, and helps coordinate escape strategies to avoid the threat.
Hence the researchers proved that the most efficient survival strategy will depend on the level of threat we perceive, the closer a threat gets, the more impulsive your response will be – in effect.