Amygdala: Friend or Foe?

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I have often wondered about the fight or flight instinct within all human species. It seems that for many people the choice is consistent no matter what the situation. My entry today will be based of experience in my life.

During a recent weekend I was caught up in a mess of horrible situations. I was hanging out with a small group of friends, when two of my buddies started to rough house. Things quickly got out of hand when I noticed one of my friends trying to continue "fake fighting" after the other was attempting to end it. I immediately thought of the amygdala and how it is a key factor in making split moment decisions when scared or provoked. I attempted to end the situation peacefully only to get sucker punched in the face by the person. Immediately my amygdala kicked into gear and it turned into a serious fight. Without going into too much detail it ended with what I thought was a good friend pinned to the ground with a bloody mouth, by my other friends. Thankfully me and the guy talked it out later and are now closer friends than we were before hand.

After the situation I kept thinking about the readings I had read regarding the amygdala. Me and this person are very similar people and it proposes the question of whether or not we have similar brain structure. Neither of us would back down and both of us immediately regretted it ever happening and apologized to each other sincerely. During the encounter I noticed my friend who was originally frightened by the guy change his attitude completely and jump on him and pin him down. It's amazing how quickly decisions can change and fear can be swapped out for confidence in a split second. I do not believe that any of the events that had taken place that night would have been possible without the help of the amygdala.

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This page contains a single entry by paese004 published on October 2, 2011 12:45 PM.

Psychology DOES apply to the real world. was the previous entry in this blog.

The Amygdala and Psychopathy is the next entry in this blog.

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