MED101 was awesome today. All other days have been great too, but I feel like this day was the day I "geeked" out the most during class. We were introduced to the nervous system!! In one of my most recent blogs, I expressed my love for the brain and how fascinating it is how the structure of the brain has a huge correlation with the possibility of developing a mental illness. Although we didn't get too far into how the two topics are correlated, I did leave class exited about the one organ that named itself... The Brain.
|Behold... The Brain|
|My favorite structure in the Brain.|
The Amygdala is located in the Limbic System. The Amygdala, thought to look like an almond, is responsible for processing emotion, an individuals "fight or flight response", and is responsible for determining the types of memories that are stored in certain parts of the brain. This is where all of my excitement comes in. When the Amygdala is stimulated, perhaps after seeing a dark shadow near ones closet, it begins to release hormones which promote fear throughout the body. Considering how the Amygdala is closely tied to fear and anxiety, you can infer that an abnormality in the structure of the Amygdala would alter its function, possibly leading to phobia and trauma. This would drastically affect the way a person lives. They may live their entire lives fearing one thing, either because of an early traumatic event or simply for no other identifiable reason. Another eerie connection that the structure of the Amygdala has with mental illness, is that if an individual has a smaller Amygdala compared to the average size(1.24 cm), an individual is most likely to be a psychopath and participate in criminal activity.
This is connected to the rotation I had on Friday. The psychiatrist told me and my peers that the an abnormality within the psychology of the brain has a lot to do with the increased likelihood of a person partaking in extreme activities that may get them injured or incarcerated.
It is completely fascinating to me how the poor development of certain parts of the brain can affect the way a person lives. I can go for hours and hours talking about the other connections the brain has to other forms of mental illnesses, but this would no longer be considered a blog, it would end up being a scientific paper. .. I'd prefer to leave that for when school starts.
Class today was beyond amazing and I am looking forward for tomorrow because we will have the chance to look at real brains. Let's hope I get to look at the Amygdala!