|Definition (Myers): Two almond-shaped neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion.|
|Definition (alternative): almond-shaped groups of neurons located deep within the medial temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans.Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions, the amygdala are considered part of the limbic system.*|
|Contextual explanation: Amygdala influence aggression and fear. So for example, if you lesion amygdala, the ill tempered person may become calm and placid. Amygdalas exist in not only humans but also animals as well. If you stimulate amygadala, what happens is that our pupils dilate and we become suddenly angry and our body becomes worked up. Amygdala is also in charge of the perception of such emotion and the processing of emotional memories. So when we are afraid of something, our feeling of fear is connected with our certain situations or objects. For example, let's say I am scared of snakes and I freak out whenever I see them. Once my amygdala is damaged, I would no longer recall my fear of snakes even if I see one.|
| Related terms and concepts: |
The Lymbic System: A doughnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of brainstem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.
Fear: A key to fear learning lies in the amygdala. If amygdala is damaged, we would not show any fear learning.
Emotion: A response of the whole organism, involving physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience.
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| Related websites: |
The Amygdala and the Emotions -talks about connection between amydala and emotion
Amygdala's Inner Workings- recent research on amygdala and our emotion
|Edited by: Sophia|