Amygdala

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  • A set of almond-shaped structures in the limbic system that play an important role in emotions (e.g., aggression, rage, fear) and the association of features from different sensory modalities. The amygdala helps regulate emotional states in response to unpleasant or aversive stimuli. Also, when the amygdala is electrically stimulated, the most frequent emotional reaction is fear or worry. Such an internal alarm system, signaling potentially threatening stimuli, has been linked repeatedly with evolutionary adaptation. More recently, the amygdala has been associated with grief, despair, positive emotions, and activity in response to erotic photographs. For more information, see LeDoux (2007).

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