What is the Amygdala Responsible for
What is the amygdala responsible for?
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The brain is a complex human organ that is responsible for every action performed by a human body. It is not something that is exclusive to human beings; it is present in all living beings.
The brain is one of the most vital organs for the sustainability of the physical body of all living organisms. The amygdala is a part of the brain. The name amygdala is derived from the Latin word amygdala, which means almond.
This is very much in relation to the shape of the amygdala, as the amygdala is an almond-shaped nervous tissue that is embedded deep within the temporal lobe of the human brain.
There are two amygdalas in every human brain. They are located on the left and right sides of the brain. The amygdala is situated right in between the hippocampus and the frontal lobe of the human brain. They are very small in size in size but play a vital role in most of the functions of the brain.
Amygdala – The Almond Shaped Nervous Tissue
The amygdala, the almond-shaped nervous tissue, is also a part of the limbic system. The limbic system is a part of the brain that is related to three major functions of the brain.
These functions are emotions, memories, and stimulation. The limbic system is made up of many important organs such as the thalamus, hypothalamus, cingulate gyrus, and the amygdala.
While these are the main parts, there are also several other ancillary parts that form the whole of the limbic system. And all these major and minor parts work together so that the human brain can control emotions, stimulation, and have good memory skills.
There have been constant debates going on among medical researchers and scientists about the correctness of considering the amygdala as a part of the limbic system. The amygdala has a lot of functions that help in the proper functioning of the human brain.
Amygdala and its Functions
Amygdala is the nervous tissue that has major functions like the processing of memories, the process of decision making, and also is the sole reason for emotional responses by the human body. These are some of the functions that are closely linked to human emotions, stimulation, and responsiveness to specific situations.
An amygdala in a female human body grows faster than that of the male human body. The female body has a full-grown and full capacity amygdala almost one and a half years earlier than that of a male human body.
In other words, the amygdala in the female human body will reach their full growth potential before the male human body. This difference in the growth of the amygdala may be due to hormones.
This change in the growth pattern between men and women is not exclusive to the amygdala; they are also seen in various other parts of the brain and the human body as a whole. The amygdala is also responsible for sexual behaviors in the human body.
And these sexual behaviors may be triggered due to different reasons in both males and females. They may not be the same due to the different hormones present in the male human body and the female human body.
The amygdala is also one of the few parts of the human body with which a difference in sex can be determined between a male and a female human body. This is because the amygdala in the male human body is bigger than that of the female human body.
Now let’s see some of the functions of the amygdala and the different reactions produced by the human body to these functions.
One of the main functions of amygdalae is sending and receiving signals to different parts of the brain.
As soon as the human brain comes face to face with any situation or circumstances that relate to emotions, stimulation, and memories, the amygdala will send signal to the hypothalamus, the dorsomedial thalamus, the thalamic reticular nucleus, the nuclei of the trigeminal nerve and to the facial nerves as well, the ventral tegmental area, the locus coeruleus, and the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus.
Thus, the amygdala is responsible for a person’s reaction to different situations.
The amygdala is famously known for the role it plays in processing fear as an emotion. Many scientific tests and researches in the past have concluded that without the amygdala, a human being would never know the meaning of fear and that they would become docile in nature.
They would jump into situations and circumstances that are lethal to one’s own existence.
Emotional learning is another major function that is done by the amygdala. Emotional learning is when a human body learns information and data that are a consequence or reaction to a specific or certain emotion.
The amygdala helps in retaining memory. There is a difference between how a female human brain retains memory and the male human brain retains memory.
The female human brain will remember memories that relate to emotions and emotional events or emotional reactions better than a male human brain. This is again due to the way the human body is built in both males and females.
The amygdala in the human body is also responsible for appetitive or positive conditioning. Different neurons in the brain react to positive and negative stimuli in different ways. However, there are no elaborate studies done on this.
A memory that is fueled by emotions can be forgotten by a human body if the amygdala gets damaged or injured. These emotional memories are stored in synapses by the human brain. For example, when a person is overcome with fear in a dreadful situation, that situation will be stored in the human brain as a synapse.
When the same person encounters another fearful situation or circumstance, this synapse will be brought back to the person’s memory. Thus the person may react to the situation with more caution because of the fearful memory that was created in the earlier situation.
Another important function that the amygdala can do is that they can modify the memory we store based on the findings that the brain does after the event has occurred.
The long term memories, that human brain stores are susceptible to moderation every time. As and when new information or facts about the event that created the memory is received or perceived by the human brain, the memory is moderated.
Any long term memory that is formed in the human brain is not formed instantaneously. It is formed as and when the person assimilates the information regarding the event. This does not mean that memory is tarnished. This means that the memory is updated with new information with regards to the memory of the event.
The Correlation of Amygdala and Sexual Orientation
In the recent past, there were tests and researches conducted to find out whether the sexual orientation of a person can be found out with the help of the amygdala.
The results show that homosexual men tend to have more feminine patterns in their amygdala than heterosexual men. Also, homosexual women tend to have more masculine patterns in their amygdala than heterosexual women.
The amygdala also has very positive correlations when it comes to the relationship between the size of the amygdala and the complexity of social networking. In other words, a person who has a larger or bigger amygdala has a bigger and complex social network.
Recent studies have also shown that there is a correlation between the amygdala and anxiety. Anxiety disorder is more common in women than in men. This is because, in a very stressful situation, the male human body produces more serotonin receptors in the amygdala than women.
That is why women suffer more due to anxiety disorder than men. The amygdala also plays a key role in bipolar disorder. A greater amygdala activity will result in bipolar disorder in humans.
What Happens when the Amygdala gets Damaged?
When the amygdala gets damaged or injured due to any accidents or illness, it may affect the human body in many forms. One of the most common effects of a damaged amygdala is that the person has no sense of fear and does a lot of high-risk tasks. This might end up becoming lethal if the person is not treated properly and quickly.
This reaction is most commonly and popularly known as risk aversion. A person with a normal amygdala will have a loss aversion while a person with a damaged or injured amygdala will have a risk aversion. This is because of the lack of sense of fear. And without a sense of fear, humans are not considered normal.
Treatment for Damaged or Injured Amygdala
A person who has damaged or injured amygdala should consult a proper neurologist for proper treatment. The neurologist, after thorough checking, will prescribe the method of treatment for the damage or injury. The treatments that are usually prescribed by a neurologist are surgery, medication, or therapy.
Surgery is required only when there is any scar or injury to the amygdala. In the case of damage due to any traumatic or stressful experience, the neurologist may prescribe proper medication and may also recommend mental therapy to soothe the damage and restore the amygdala to their normal condition.
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