27 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Upstairs and Downstairs Brain

Our amygdala (pronounced uh-MIG-duh-luh) is about the size and shape of an almond and is part of the limbic area, which resides in the downstairs brain. The amygdala’s job is to quickly process and express emotions, especially anger and fear. This little mass of gray matter is the watchdog of the brain, remaining always alert for times we might be threatened. When it does sense danger, it can completely take over, or hijack, the upstairs brain. That’s what allows us to act before we think...
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Our instinctive, more primitive brain overrides our logical, more advanced from time to time. Children are even more prone to it.