Amygdala

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The amygdalae (singular: amygdala; also corpus amygdaloideum) (Latin, from Greek αμυγδαλή, amygdalē, 'almond', 'tonsil', listed in the Gray's Anatomy as the nucleus amygdalæ)[1] are almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep within the medial temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans.[2] Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions, the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic system.[3]

Contents

Anatomical subdivisions

The regions described as amygdala nuclei encompass several structures with distinct functional traits. Among these nuclei are the basolateral complex, the cortical nucleus, the medial nucleus, and the central nucleus. The basolateral complex can be further subdivided into the lateral, the basal, and the accessory basal nuclei.[3][4][5]

Anatomically, the amygdala[6] and more particularly, its central and medial nuclei,[7] have sometimes been classified as a part of the basal ganglia.

Connections

The amygdala sends impulses to the hypothalamus for activation of the sympathetic nervous system, to the thalamic reticular nucleus for increased reflexes, to the nuclei of the trigeminal nerve and the facial nerve, and to the ventral tegmental area, locus coeruleus, and laterodorsal tegmental nucleus for activation of dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.[4]

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