Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition

Amygdala, Pain Processing and Behavior in Animals

  • Barton H. Manning
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_192

Synonyms

Amygdaloid Complex; nociceptive processing in the amygdala, behavioral and pharmacological studies

Definition

The  amygdala is an almond shaped structure in the ventromedial temporal lobe that constitutes part of the brain’s limbic system. It comprises several neuroanatomically and functionally distinct nuclei with widespread connections to and from a variety of cortical and subcortical brain regions.

Characteristics

In a general sense, the amygdala plays a prominent role in the coordination of defense reactions to environmental threats (LeDoux 2003). The hypothesized role of the amygdala in emotional information processing represents one component in this overall role. Clearly, environmental threats are diverse and include the animate (e.g. extraspecies predators, intraspecies rivals) and inanimate (e.g. thorns or spines on plants). Stimuli signaling the presence of threats can be “natural” elicitors of the psychological state of fear such as a sudden, novel sound or the...

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barton H. Manning
    • 1
  1. 1.Amgen Inc.Thousand OaksCAUSA