amygdala

noun
amyg·da·la | \ə-ˈmig-də-lə \
plural amygdalae\-ˌlē, -ˌlī \

Definition of amygdala 

: the one of the four basal ganglia in each cerebral hemisphere that is part of the limbic system and consists of an almond-shaped mass of gray matter in the anterior extremity of the temporal lobe

called also amygdaloid nucleus

Examples of amygdala in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The amygdala, a subcortical brain structure that responds to threat, can become hijacked: Children who experienced parental deprivation show amygdala hyperactivity, meaning the brain is more likely to signal danger even when there is none. Dylan Gee, Vox, "I study kids who were separated from their parents. The trauma could change their brains forever.," 20 June 2018 Studies of the brains of children raised in Romanian orphanages with ten-to-one infant-adult ratios found abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Cut, "Can Scientists Tell Me If I’m a Good Mom?," 17 Apr. 2018 The amygdala, a part of the brain in charge of emotional responses, becomes more active and can overrule the prefrontal cortex, which is in charge of nuanced cognitive functions such as complex decision-making. William Wan And Amy Ellis Nutt, Washington Post, "Why didn't the officer rush into Florida's Parkland school mass shooting?," 23 Feb. 2018 Connections with the prefrontal cortex, which are essential for quieting the amygdala, also undergo altered development following parental deprivation. Dylan Gee, Vox, "I study kids who were separated from their parents. The trauma could change their brains forever.," 20 June 2018 And without it, the parts of the brain that deal with attachment and fear - the amygdala and hippocampus - develop differently. William Wan, BostonGlobe.com, "What separation from parents does to children: ‘The effect is catastrophic’," 19 June 2018 Inside the amygdala, a single negative event makes roughly the same impression as five positive events. Jeff Stibel, USA TODAY, "How I kicked my news addiction," 10 Apr. 2018 These results show the amygdala is central to determining the valence of tastes. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "A Matter of Taste: Can a Sweet Tooth Be Switched Off in the Brain?," 30 May 2018 The amygdala is essential for recognizing other people’s fear. Lynn Johnson, National Geographic, "How Fear Makes You Do Good Or Evil," 3 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amygdala.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of amygdala

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for amygdala

New Latin, from Latin, almond, from Greek amygdalē

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Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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The first known use of amygdala was in 1845

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More Definitions for amygdala

amygdala

noun
amyg·da·la | \ə-ˈmig-də-lə \
plural amygdalae\-ˌlē, -ˌlī \

Medical Definition of amygdala 

: the one of the four basal ganglia in each cerebral hemisphere that is part of the limbic system and consists of an almond-shaped mass of gray matter in the roof of the lateral ventricle

called also amygdaloid body, amygdaloid nucleus

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More from Merriam-Webster on amygdala

Nglish: Translation of amygdala for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amygdala for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about amygdala

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