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UCSB brain scientists to study public's reaction to the Ebola threat

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Scientists at UCSB will soon begin studying how people around the world have responded to the Ebola threat, psychologically. The University's Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences is getting more $128,202 from the National Science Foundation for the project.

Professor David Sherman is working with lead researcher Dr. Heejung Kim on the project and says the goal is to help us understand how and why we respond the way we do.

"With many of these types of threats, the actual risk is fairly low, but the panic that's caused by them is usually a lot more costly to our daily and national well being," said Sherman. "We believe that the findings from this research may be useful in reducing these secondary costs."

Ebola has been the source of much fear globally despite the fact that the risk of contracting the disease is quite low for most of us.

Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) made the grant announcement Friday in Washington.

“This research will give us a better understanding of the way people respond psychologically to the threat of diseases like Ebola, and how we can help educate that response,” Capps said in a statement to the press.