Fear and Amygdala: How Are They Related?

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According to FutureHealth.org, “Although fear has been classified as an emotion by psychologists, it is a very basic human emotion and can be almost considered as a simple feeling. In fact if emotions comprise of feelings and bodily reactions, then fear would be the basic feeling component of anxiety or phobias as has been explained in the psychology of emotions. I prefer the use of fear as feeling rather than as an emotion and to explain this, it is important to distinguish between feelings and emotions in psychology. As of now this distinction is blurred and psychologists do not distinguish between feeling and emotion extensively.”

In the year 2007, an episode of small screen show Boston Legal, an artist declared to have found out that a sheriff was racist since his amygdale had activated, which displayed fear when they demonstrated images before him of black individuals. This association between fear and amygdala has gone too away in psychological science, besides pop culture, as per the authors of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a novel new paper which shall be printed in February issue. Researchers conducted experiments which showed that amygdala is active when individuals are afraid. But it gets activated at many other times like while responding to pleasant photographs and smiling faces.

The misconception arises from how the scientists initially approached studying the brain. Many individuals came to the amygdala after the study of fear, as per Wil Cunningham. They admit that this is an excellent emotion to research on, since it is significant, evolutionary and they also put forward that they know lot about the fear in animals. Further they say that almost every study of fear discovers that amygdala is active. But it does not signify that every spark of action in amygdala portrays that individual is afraid. However amygdala seems to be something more delicate, which processes events related to what an individual cares about at the instant. So if u have an anxious personality or you are in a scary situation, amygdala activity shall be activated by any terrified picture.

Hungry individuals have augmented amygdala activity in response to images of food and individuals who are very compassionate, on seeing other individuals have amygdala. While studying emotions, individuals desire to discover particular brain parts which are associated with various kinds of emotions. Soon it shall be possible to use brain imaging techniques and MRI to ascertain and discover of what the individuals are really thinking. Many times individuals do not know or they themselves will never say what they are thinking. It will be wonderful, to have the ability to look at the image of the brain and know this mysterious answer.




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