Amygdala

Amygdala.png

 

The amygdala is located in the frontal portion of the temporal lobes close to the hippocampus.

  • It is involved in forming and storage of information related to emotional events / emotional memory
  • It is involved in storing long-term memory
  • It helps discern when there is danger or anything frightening

 

Damage to the amygdala causes problems with:

  • Memory formation
  • Emotional sensitivity
  • Learning and remembering
  • Depression and gloom
  • Fear

 

The amygdala is part of the limbic system. The limbic system is located below the lobes of the brain. Here hormones are produced, body temperature and appetite is controlled.

The main parts of the limbic system are the hippocampus, the hypothalamus and the amygdala.

Damage to the limbic system may upset the balance in the hormone system.

The ability to perceive a feeling of hunger or a feeling of satiety may be reduced and emotional responses may have changed. The amygdala and the hippocampus together ensure processing of emotional memories. The amygdala encodes the emotion and the hippocampus encodes the context; ie the people, situations, things and where it took place. We are more likely to remember something if we have a feeling or an emotion for it.

 

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3D image of the brains. Hippocampus is blue, amygdala is green. Image by lifesciencedb.BrianMSweis from Wikimedia Commons