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Chapter 2

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Langara College
PSYC 1115
Troy Chenier

Chapter 2 The Biology of Mind continued The Limbic System 29 What are limbic systems structures and functions the cerebral hemispheres the two halves of the brain the brains newest and highest parts between the oldest and the newest brain lies the limbic system limbus means borderthe system contains the amygdala the hypothalamus and the hippocampus the hippocampus processes conscious memories animals or humans who lose their hippocampus to surgery or injury also lose their ability to form new memories of facts and events The Amygdala research has linked the amygdala two limabeansized neural clusters to aggression and fear in 1939 psychologist Heinrich Kluver and neurosurgeon Paul Bucy surgically removed a rhesus monkeys amygdale turning the normally illtempered animal into the most mellow of creatures in studies with other animals including other wild animals including the lynx wolverine and wild rat researchers noted the same effect these experiments have confirmed the amygdalas role in rage and fear including the perception of these emotions and the processing of emotional memories the brain is not neatly organized into structures that correspond to our behaviour categories when we feel or act in aggressive act in aggressive or fearful ways there is neural activity in many levels of our braineven within the limbic system stimulating structure other than the amygdale can evoke aggression or fearexample if your charge a cars dead battery you can activate the engine The Hypothalamus just below hypo the thalamus is the hypothalamus an important link in the command chain governing bodily maintenance some neural clusters in the hypothalamus influence hunger others regulate thirst body temperature and sexual behaviour as the hypothalamus monitors the state of your body it tunes into your blood chemistry and any incoming orders from other brain parts for example picking up signals from your cerebral cortex that you are thinking about sex your hypothalamus will secrete hormones
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