Amygdala. AKA: Run like your life depends on it!

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Because sometimes, it might.

The amygdala sure is an interesting name for something so extremely pivotal for the basic survival of both animals and humans. This almond shaped mass in the temporal lobe of our brain is used for emotions such as fear, anger and pleasure. In a nutshell, the amygdala is responsible for our fight-or-flight response. You know that feeling when you can hear your heart beating through your chest and feel your sweat starting to trickle down your face and you are ready to either fight or run? Yeah, that response.

Imagine yourself alone in an underground subway in Barcelona in the middle of the night. That's where I was when my amygdala went into full gear. I was walking out of the subway when I saw two strange men mumbling things in Spanish and following me. Obviously, I had not used my common sense in being alone and things didn't feel right. Looking back, I now know that my amygdala was responsible for the screaming voice in my head saying "run as fast as you can and get out of here!"

Needless to say, I followed that voice and started to run up the stairs and out of the subway. This was definitely the smartest thing to do because the two men started to chase me until I reached the top of the stairs. If my brain were to have been scanned at that moment, my amygdala would definitely have been lighting up!

What could have turned into a terrible situation was saved thanks to my amygdala. That little guy sure did save me a whole lot of trouble! Who knew something so small and seemingly insignificant would end up being the reason I knew to just run?

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This page contains a single entry by corr0147 published on September 25, 2011 5:32 PM.

Differing Levels of Analysis was the previous entry in this blog.

The Amygdala: Can we change ours? is the next entry in this blog.

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