On Taming Our Amygdala or Monkey Brain

0

monkey laughing 2.jpg
In “The Emotional Brain,” Joseph LeDoux, a professor of neuroscience at New York University, explains the “fear system” in laboratory animals and humans. The almond-shaped clump of tissue called the amygdala can be a real troublemaker. Whenever you sense potential danger (26 voice-mails on your cell phone coming to life like the Nutcracker), the amygdala triggers an “oh, crap!” reaction, pumping adrenaline and other (not so great) hormones into your bloodstream.
A fraction of a second later, the higher, more educated, evolved, sophisticated (Harvard professor type) region of the brain gets the signal and takes on the case, digging for the truth, sometimes accusing the amygdala of being an over-reactive alarmist. Unfortunately we experience the fear more vividly than we do the rational response, and make decisions based on the immature brat of an amygdala.
The trick is teaching the amygdala to chill out while you get the real story from the upper regions of the brain, where you’ll get a more thoughtful, considerate analysis.
In other words, try not to act like a monkey.

Originally published on Beyond Blue at Beliefnet.com

Share this:

Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

More about me...


FOLLOW ME

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER



Recent

November 24, 2023
Everything Is Grace: Cultivating Gratitude From a Greater Altitude
June 11, 2023
Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You
May 20, 2023
Please Let Me Cry
February 16, 2023
Love Being Loving
January 22, 2023
15 Winter Depression Busters

Related Posts

2 Responses