Amygdala

The amygdala is a small almond shaped structure within the Limbic Brain (the name comes from the shape). The amygdala’s function is to emotionally record incoming stimuli. This function starts around three months after conception. Up until the age of five, children are receiving pure emotion without any cognitive interpretation of those emotions. Another way of saying this is without cognitive input, up to the age of five, emotions and feelings are similar. The downside of this means that up to the age of five most incoming sensorial information is unfiltered without conscious awareness or comprehension. This unfiltered incoming stimuli makes for a lack of any cognitive understanding of what has taken place, and ends up with memories that are only emotional. For children who have been abused before the age of five, these emotional memories can be devastating (more to come).

amygdala