Friday, December 10, 2010

Blame It on My Amygdala

Ever wondered why teenagers roll their eyes and say, “You wouldn’t understand,” to an adult when asked what’s wrong?

Also how young people can say, “I love him!” one day and, “I hate him!” the next. And it goes round and round like a merry go round, faces changing with the same song playing and everything.

I have a very smart brother who recently informed me that there is such a thing as an amygdala. Fascinated by this, I had to research it. It’s in your brain, located in your limbic system, which is where your pituitary glands are of course, and is highly associated with classical conditioning. Until around the age of 24 your thought process is going through your amygdala, which is an emotional thought process, hence a lot of decisions young people make are stupid.

Eventually, it moves to your frontal cortex. You know, the logical part of your head that makes you turn into a boring person. :P

All this to say, though I do think it should be encouraged to always talk to adults, there is logic to that closed off, “You wouldn’t understand,” statement.

Generally mother’s deal with the results of the amygdala from their children and therefore probably don’t need to know the science behind behavior in order to understand. Yay for mom’s…(I think degrees are overrated, to bad we need them to get anywhere it seems). And no, this does not mean if you’re not a mommy you are incapable of comprehending matters of the amygdala; after all, you once thought primarily with it yourself.

Just saying, there’s often a gap between young people and adults and that’s probably why. P.S. No personal complaints from myself.

Oh, and because it’s associated with classical conditioning be careful of your environment. All that external stimuli is going to be shaping you heavily.

Okay, your lecture is done.

On a side note, you know those people that start to annoy you in little ways and after a long period of time? Well, I have to see one in dance class quite often. It’s pretty hard to annoy me. But she has a way of saying personal jabs that remind you that umm, yeah, we’re not all great dancers. (So please shut up, it’s just a stupid salsa, do we need perfect finger position RIGHT NOW? Use that thing called a filter and don’t make fun of mine).

Oh, the things we never say. Probably for the better.



  1. Hmmm. I was unaware of all that. We went over the amygdala in pretty much every psych class I've ever had; but I glossed over the pages just so I could learn all about it here. ;)

    I'm glad you posted this because it prompted me to also research the amygdala. My favorite find was a shirt that said "NO AMYGDALA, NO FEAR!!!"

  2. Wow I never knew there was such a thing. Haha! Thats to funny. I can now justify the excuse, "Dad, you just wouldn't understand."

    Oh don't you wish sometimes you can have the nerve to tell those things to someones face? That would be so irritating to have someone remind you of every little thing you are doing wrong. Kudos to you for not putting her in her place then.

    Loved the post and thanks for the comment Leanne!

  3. J.M. I know! I felt the joy of knowledge wash over me when I was learning about it...and my text books never took much time to go into it either.

    Makayla: Hehe, I like to tell my mom, "Sorry, that was my amygdala," when I momentarily loose my logical side. XD And thanks, it's hard not to bite back!