The college student was pacing the corridor, so scared of the caged spider at the end of the hall that he considered leaving before the therapy session began.
After about two hours of "exposure therapy," which involved touching the taran-tula with a paint-brush, then with gloves and finally with bare hands, he didn't want to leave the arachnid.
"It was so sweet. I re-member thinking this was not a problem I had antic-ipated -- that he wouldn't want to leave the spider," said Katherina Hauner, a post-doctoral neurology fellow at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
The patient's phobia was cured. And Hauner was able to observe how the brain changes when fear is successfully treated.