Who could have guessed that such a tiny, almond shaped organ in our brain would have so much effect on our daily lives? The amygdala is stored in the limbic system (the emotional center of the brain) and it plays a key role in fear, excitement, and arousal. Scientists have discovered that without the amygdala, we become fearless. Fear is what keeps us grounded and guides us to make smart decisions. Without our amygdala, who knows what our lives would be like.
Last summer, I had a very memorable encounter with my amygdala. I was going on a run through my neighborhood at night when a pitbull appeared out of nowhere and started biting my leg. I started out with a fight response and tried kicking the dog to get it off of me, but that didn't work, so I chose the flight response and ran away as fast as I could. Luckily, a car drove by and scared the dog away. My amygdala was able to recognize that I was in danger and trigger my fight and flight response. Now, I know that it is probably not the best idea to run alone at night. Saying that the amygdala is an important part of our lives is a complete understatement. What would our lives be like without it? Would it even be possible to survive?