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Can the amygdala be removed?

Question:

Can the amygdala be removed?

Fear and the Brain:

The amygdala is a cluster of neurons roughly the shape and size of an almond. The amygdala is found deep in the temporal lobe on either side of the brain, meaning that humans have two amygdalae. This structure works to produce our emotional reactions to stimuli, especially our fear reactions.

Answer and Explanation:

Yes, the amygdala can be removed from the brain but this procedure is not without consequences. Animal research showed that both monkeys and rats showed a decrease in fear responses without the amygdala while failing to recognize dangerous stimuli. Rats even nestled with cats, showing no fear of the predators. Sometimes, the amygdala has to be removed along with parts of the temporal lobe as a treatment for specific types of seizures. While some patients will no longer recognize what emotions correspond to specific facial expressions, others experience a variety of alterations in the emotional understanding and response.


Learn more about this topic:

The Amygdala: Definition, Role & Function

from General Studies Biology: Help & Review

Chapter 12 / Lesson 9
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