Amygdala's connectivity - Psychology - Professor Ralph Adolphs - Lecture 1 of 1 - Video-lecture

Video-lecture, Biological Psychology

Description: How do we understand other people? Dr. Adolphs points to the remarkable feats our brains undergo each time we see another human being. All we have to interpret the sight of another person is the light hitting our retina. The contrast differences are interpreted as eyes, nose, and features; the brain binds those features into a face; then the brain further processes those signals to see a person behind the face. Automatically, Dr. Adolphs asserts, we interpret those contrast differences from our retina as people with emotions, intentions, thoughts, and feelings behind the face. Dr. Adolphs has spent more than 20 years studying the amygdala, one of the most densely connected structures in the brain. As such the amygdala's connectivity to some degree reflects its function: it modulates a variety of behaviors including attention, memory, and decision making by integrating information components from other brain structures, "all based on the emotional or social value of a stimulus," Dr. Adolphs said. He introduces a variety of approaches to understanding the relationship between structure and function in the amygdala. One approach offers a registry of hundreds of patients with lesions from stroke or brain damage. These patients can be tested with batteries of cognitive tasks to find systematic associations between damage in a certain place and impairment in a certain task Show more
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