Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Amygdala

  • Richard MattaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology and Neuroscience Program, University of Guelph
  • , Elena CholerisAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology and Neuroscience Program, University of Guelph
  • , Martin KavaliersAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Western Ontario Email author 

Synonyms

Amygdaloid nucleus; Corpus amygdaloideum

Definition

The amygdala is an almond-shaped bilateral group of nuclei located anterior to the hippocampus within the medial temporal lobe of the telencephalon. The various nuclei receive inputs from, and have outputs to, diverse brain regions associated with sensory and behavioral/physiological processes. The amygdala is associated with both positive and negative emotion regulation as well as having a role in learning and memory processes.

Introduction

Located medially within the temporal lobe of the brain (see Fig. 1), the amygdala receives its name from the Greek word for “almond,” which describes its general shape. The amygdala is not an individual region. Rather, it consists of multiple subregions: medial nucleus, central nucleus, lateral nucleus, cortical nucleus, basal nucleus, accessory basal nucleus, and intercalating nuclei (see Fig. 2). Outputs of the amygdala include the prefrontal cortex, polymodal association cortex, ventral str ...

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