Large Amygdala=Large Social Circle?

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Before we start talking about the amazing functions of amygdala, I would first ask you to write down how many close friends you have and what their faces look like. If you are like me, who is not an expert at remembering and recognizing people's faces, then you are basically telling me that your amygdala is not so big.

Recent researches have shown that amygdala volume correlates with the complexity and the size of a person's social networks. In another word, large amygdala equals more friends and larger social circles. Do you think your amygdala is what made you social outcast? Do you believe social disorders are caused by genetic reasons, such as the size of your amygdala, rather than environmental factors?

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In addition, according to D Bzdok and his colleagues, larger amygdala makes you good at face recognition. It's also a major factor that helps you make more accurate judgement about people's faces. If you think you are good at remembering people's faces but don't have a large or complex social network, then try this Face Memory Test . If you did not get a great score on this test, then you know your amygdala is what's affecting your social behaviors.

The amygdala is composed of tiny nuclei, yet it's functions are very important to people today. It can affect people's emotions, memories, social behaviors and physical behaviors. Next time when people ask you questions such as "why do you like dogs" or "why do you have so many friends?", give them a simple answer - "my amygdala decided for me".

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http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v14/n2/full/nn.2724.html
http://www.mendeley.com/research/ale-metaanalysis-facial-judgments-trustworthiness-attractiveness/

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This is an interesting study with surprising results.

Why did the authors speculate that amygdala size would be correlated with social network size?

Was it because larger amygdali are more functional and better able to process complex stimuli from our social environment?

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This page contains a single entry by zhan1689 published on October 2, 2011 7:00 PM.

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