The Amygdala Hijack

The Amygdala is the control center for our fight or flight responses. When we are in a dangerous situation our body releases adrenaline, shuts off our digestion, and heightens our senses. This response has been programed in the human brain for millennial. However, the prefrontal cortex, or the thinking part of our brain is at war with our amygdala.

The Amygdala Hijack is considered to happen in any situation when our emotions take over our intelligent thinking. This includes outbreaks of anger. In present society we are less likely to get frightened by a saber tooth tiger and more likely to get into a bar fight, or feel road rage. A threat to our ego and threat to our physical being is all the same to our amygdala. This happens because it sends out hormones that basically override our prefrontal cortex, which can happen is a second, and we act on instinct and not on rational thoughts. Often times when people look back on Amygdala hijacks they feel guilt and understand that their actions were often irrational.The second video notes that our amygdala narrows down the option so that only one seems like the rational one.

There are also articles that tell one how to train themselves in order to stop the complete over taking of the amygdala. I almost see that as something that you wouldn't want to do. Yes, the amygdala's actions aren't always adaptive for current situations, but people still run into bears, or other people with knives and not having that response could be dangerous. If you stop to think about what the problem is while someone is drowning you might not jump into the pool fast enough. Also, there has to be something in the brain that tells us road rage isn't a life or death situation or else there would be fights breaking out on the street everyday.

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This page contains a single entry by swan1205 published on November 3, 2011 12:51 PM.

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