My nose is still numb...

While ignoring the dentist's drill and listening to the Discovery channel this AM I learned something rather interesting:
Recent brain studies have shown multiple functions for the amygdala - the weird nut shaped tweedles inside both lobes of the back part of your brain. It's been linked to the emotion of fear for a long time's what allows you to (or not to) react to/deal with/feel afraid or control your fear of something. In a favourite show Firefly, the character River Tam had been forced to undergo repeated surgeries to strip her amygdala, so that she felt all her fears all the time and couldn't suppress them, gaining a lot of mental problems as a result...he heh...they weren't just making up mumbo jumbo for good TV - I was impressed that they actually looked that up for the show! It was what kept me on the channel in the first see if they were making all that up or not.
Anyways...back to the matter at hand.
Now they've found the function of the amygdala it is also linked to the concept of personal can greatly affect how you deal with crowds and how much personal space you need to feel comfortable. It can allow you to turn other people around you into objects in order to deal with crowds and not get freaked out by lack of personal space. Odd huh? Seeing as agoraphobia really is a fear of crowds and inability to deal with lack of personal space that ties in very neatly with the whole aspect of dealing with fear. I'm interested to read further work on this. Apparently people with damage or lack of function in this area have too little inhibition - they get right up into people's faces without realising they're intruding on personal space and don't really have healthy fears of things that would keep the usual person a bit also is involved in long term memory development...perhaps in developing deep fears from childhood?? It can also, when damaged, be involved in agoraphobia. The good news is that it is involved in positive reinforcement/ learning of new perhaps you can deal with fears over time with positive reinforcement.

Almost made it worth sitting through the 2 fillings this morning.



the Bag Lady said…
My amygdala must be well-developed! There isn't enough room in your comment section to list all my fears....
Fascinating! And I didn't even have to get my teeth filled to find out about it!
Anonymous said…
Interesting... people (in my family) don't believe me when I say that if I stay at home for a while, I feel relaxed and breezy next time I go out. If's as though I've completely forgotten how I was feeling the time before, and have filled my mind with personal projects. People are convinced I have to keep going out every day 'to get used to it'. But I've always found that doing something too much is a bad idea, especially if it makes me tired and bored. :-) It's not as if there are a lot of places to go in our town... it's like exploring the same three streets over and over. Zzz.

I remember thinking a few times that I have a more 'distant' personal space than a number of people in town... they do things I would never do. :-) But just because some people do these things, doesn't mean everybody does; perhaps we're all a bit peeved at the more pushy ones.

Hope all went well at the dentist, and that there was no floss involved. :-)

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