Amygdala and Memory

Amygdala and Memory - A Amygdala receives sensory...

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Amygdala and Memory I. Amygdala involved with: A. Giving emotional content to memory B. Evaluation of social stimuli 1. Recognition of emotion in others’ faces 2. Judgment of trustworthy faces C. Learning conditioned responses to stimuli associated with fear D. Signaling presence of emotional stimuli (e.g. fear) – Activation of amygdala by a feared stimulus will produce 3 sets of responses: 1. Autonomic response – increased heart rate, stress hormone release 2. Behavioral response (including conditioned responses) – startle, freezing 3. Emotional experience E. Destruction of amygdala results in: 1. Flat affect (lack of emotion) 2. Reduction of fear 3. Impairment of emotional aspects of memory 4. Inhibition of conditioned emotional responses (i.e. Sniffy would no longer freeze to tone that predicted shock or your heartrate would no longer increase to the smell of girlfriend’s perfume) 5. Inability to judge nature of other’s emotional responses II. Information Flow
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Unformatted text preview: A. Amygdala receives sensory information via the thalamus related to touch, sound, sight, taste, and smell. If these stimuli have an emotional context, the amygdala signals other brain areas in order to respond. Obviously, to “know” that the stimulus has an emotional context a memory for said stimulus must already exist. This is an important function of the amygdala, to store data on stimuli that are associated with emotion. The diagram below illustrates flow of information for Sniffy after he has been conditioned that a tone predicts a shock. Tone Thalamus Amygdala Brain Areas controlling Auditory Cortex behavioral, emotional, autonomic responses III. Think about these questions to help you study. 1. What would happen to Pavlovian fear conditioning if the amygdala was destroyed? 2. Why is the amygdala evolutionarily important? 3. What is the amygdala’s role in memory formation?...
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Amygdala and Memory - A Amygdala receives sensory...

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