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Health, Sports & Psychology

OU on the BBC: Lab Rats - Fear

Updated Thursday 6th May 2004

Zeron and Mike confront their worst fears! Read about Zeron's flood of fear in his diary and explore the science of fear

Mike helps Zeron tackle his fear of snakes Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team

In the 'Scaredy Rats' programme, the Lab Rats must face their greatest fears, and try to cure them in just one week. PhD scientist, Mike Leahy, and stand-up comedian, Zeron Gibson, experience the science and psychology of fear using their own bodies as laboratories. Their vital signs are monitored to measure their terror as they undergo 'Flooding Therapy'. The Flooding Therapy requires extreme exposure to their fears, in an attempt to overcome them. Mike Leahy is a tough guy, but he's a real scaredey cat when it comes to heights. So Mike confronts 'Tower Terror' as he climbs 100 ft up the ladder of a construction crane. Can he complete the long, perilous walk out to the end of the jib?

Mike is scared of heights but his fellow Lab Rat, Zeron Gibson, is petrified of snakes. His fear has grown to a phobia. Zeron sobs as a tiny earth worm is placed on his skin, and this is just the prelude to confronting an enormous boa constrictor. Peter Naish, a psychologist from the Open University, guides Zeron through the physical and mental basis of his fear. Mark O'Shea, reptile expert and TV presenter (O'Shea's Dangerous Reptiles, Channel 4), introduces Zeron to snakes from his personal collection. In a truly remarkable transformation snake-phobic Zeron, trembling from a surge of adrenaline, can finally touch a snake as his fellow Lab Rat, Mike, wipes away his tears. But his ultimate challenge awaits; he must sleep with two huge pythons in pitch darkness. Will the Flooding Therapy work when Zeron is left alone to confront his demons?

 

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