A separate study published on Feb. 6 found that cognitive behavioral therapy helped reduce symptoms of patients with social phobia. The therapy increased brain activity in areas that regulate emotions.
In a 2016 study, neuroscientists used reward therapy to help the human brain overcome phobias, by giving subjects money every time brain activity linked to a particular fear was detected.
Arachnophobes given beta blockers–a heart medication also used to treat anxiety–after being exposed to spiders were able to overcome their fear better than control groups, according to a 2015 study.
This appears in the February 20, 2017 issue of TIME.