The Amygdala, regulator of emotions

The Amygdala, regulator of emotions

The amygdala, is a set of nuclei of neurons located in the depth of the temporal lobes. The tonsil is part of the limbic system, and its main role is the processing and storage of emotional reactions.

What relationship does the Amygdala have with emotions?

The amygdala is responsible for our escape from risk or danger situations. It seems to be related to the management of our emotions, as well as other basic psychological processes, such as learning and memory.

The amygdala is like a switch that switches those feelings that take away our reason in times of tension.

Kidnapping by the amygdala is a term coined by psychologist Daniel Goleman (author and researcher in the field of emotional intelligence), which refers to an emotional explosion that exceeds the usual emotional limits in the individual. We are not talking about any psychological disorder, but about a episode of high emotionality that cancels the person's ability to think clearly, so that he acts totally blinded by his emotions, kidnapped by his state of high emotional activation.

The amygdala saves and manages our most irrational emotions. It is responsible for regulating the sensations. It helps us to find the necessary strategy to solve a situation of stress, fear or danger and gives us a balanced vision of what is happening around us. In short, it is the part of the brain that allows us not to get carried away by panic and anxiety.

The amygdala too it prepares us an anxious and impulsive emotional reaction, but another part of the brain is responsible for developing a more appropriate response. The brain regulator that disconnects the impulses from the tonsil seems to be at the end of a nerve pathway that goes to the neocortex, in the prefrontal lobe. The prefrontal area constitutes a kind of modulator of the responses provided by the amygdala and other regions of the limbic system, allowing the emission of a more analytical and proportionate response.


So, as we can see, emotions are a very important part of the exercise of reason. Between feeling and thinking, emotion guides our decisions, working with the rational mind and training or irrationally blocking thought.

Do not forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel of Psychology and Education