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Swimming body apology over 'climate of fear'

British Swimming has apologised to Paralympic athletes after it was found that a former head coach “created a climate of fear”. It said an independent inquiry into complaints of bullying from 13 Para-swimmers found they and their families faced “unacceptable behaviours”. The governing body said the unnamed member of staff – understood to be ex-head coach Rob Greenwood – was found to have been “communicating with athletes in an abusive manner, as well as using derogatory terms to describe athletes”. Greenwood left his job before the investigation began, and it…

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Spider phobia brain 'processes unconscious fear'

Showing arachnopohobes images of spiders so briefly they remain unaware of them could help them overcome their fear, US researchers suggest. Scans suggested the brain worked harder to regulate emotional and behavioural responses to fear when it was not conscious of it. The women in the small study were shown pictures of flowers interspersed very briefly with images of spiders. The researchers said the technique could be used to treat children. Current treatments are often based on persuading patients to directly face their fear, which could cause serious emotional distress,…

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