The Amygdala: the Emotional Seat of the Brain

Have you ever heard of the amygdala?

The amygdala is a set of two tiny almond-shaped groups of neurons in the brain. It is part of the limbic system,  situated above the hypothalamus.

The limbic system is the seat of our emotions and the amygdala is responsible for regulating these emotions. It is our biological centurion. When confronted with danger it sends a command to our body to fight, freeze or flee. As the hippocampus records experience and perception the amygdala assigns emotional content to these stimuli. Therefore, the amygdala is mainly responsible for learned fear responses such as anger, avoidance, defensiveness, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and phobias.

The amygdala starts forming immediately after our first heartbeat. It stores all the memories of our life in the womb, with the placenta, the fluid of life and the water and the terror of losing them, as well all the joy of being fed, of bouncing and of moving.The amygdala also stores the life of the mother, her fears and her joy in her life.

This accumulation goes on until the age of three. Everything that we experience up to this point in life is recorded for us in the amygdala. After the age of three, our hippocampus matures and takes over the processing of conscious memories . Even though the hippocampus and the amygdala converse with each other for the rest of our lives, we loose access to those memories of the first three years of our lives that remain stored in the amygdala.

What happens to the negative memories locked in the amygdala? They become our individual nightmares, the invisible conditioning of all our actions, the blind spot of our lives, the unknown reason why we do what we do even when we do not know why we do it.

Ute Hesse     circle-of-life      neuroenergetic Kinesiology      17.5.2016

 

2016-05-30T15:13:07+00:00 Mai 17th, 2016|