Research has long sought to understand the most complex organ of the human body: the brain. John Hopkins Medicine highlights the importance of the brain due to it being responsible for a very large proportion of the body’s functions. The brain controls our memories, our emotions, our breathing, and any other process that occurs to regulate the human body!
This week I’d like to focus on the function of emotions. While all functions of the brain are important to consider, emotions are of particular interest as they provide insight as to why human beings behave the way they do. The human brain contains several areas which are responsible for emotions, all of which are encompassed in the limbic system.
The limbic system is a complex but powerful system of the brain. The Queensland Brain Institute explains the several areas that form the limbic system:
- Thalamus – responsible for relaying sensory information (sound, taste, sight and touch) from the body to the brain
- Hypothalamus – responsible for the production of important hormones which help to regulate our thirst, hunger and mood
- Basal Ganglia – responsible for movement, learning, reward processing and habit formation
- Hippocampus – responsible for formation of episodic memories to be stored long-term
While all areas within the limbic system are of importance, perhaps the most important is the amygdala. The amygdala is of particular importance due to its evolutionary importance in adaptation and survival of humans. The amygdala is a part of the ‘defence cascade’ which describes the progressive responses elicited by humans when faced with stimuli that causes stress or fear (Kozlowska et al., 2015). The amygdala is responsible for the fight or flight response, which we have previously discussed on the blog (How Breathwork Can Help With Anxiety).
If you want to learn more about your nervous system and tools to enhance your limbic system then register your interest in the ‘READY SET GLOW PROGRAM’ simply follow the link below, complete your details in the enquiry section and tick the ‘Ready Set Glow’ box!