Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An almond-shaped mass of gray matter in the anterior portion of the temporal lobe. Also called amygdaloid nucleus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The region of the brain, located in the medial temporal lobe, believed to play a key role in the emotions, such as fear and pleasure, in both animals and humans.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An almond.
  • n.
  • n. One of the tonsils of the pharynx.
  • n. One of the rounded prominences of the lower surface of the lateral hemispheres of the cerebellum, each side of the vallecula.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An almond.
  • n. A tonsil.
  • n. A small rounded lobule of the cerebellum on its under side.
  • n. A small mass of gray matter in front of the end of the descending cornu of the lateral ventricle of the brain. Also called the amygdaloid nucleus.
  • n. [capitalized] In zoology: A genus of echinoderms. A genus of mollusks.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an almond-shaped neural structure in the anterior part of the temporal lobe of the cerebrum; intimately connected with the hypothalamus and the hippocampus and the cingulate gyrus; as part of the limbic system it plays an important role in motivation and emotional behavior

Etymologies

Latin, almond, from Greek amugdalē.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Because of its shape, from Latin amygdala ("almond"), from Ancient Greek ἀμυγδάλη (amugdalē, "almond"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One study found that the amygdala is smaller in subjects with family histories of alcoholism, suggesting that inherited differences in brain structure may affect risk.

    Gladwell: cultural norms affect drinking! | Dr Vino's wine blog

  • * The amygdala is an area of the brain thought to play a role in the emotional aspects of craving, which can lead to addiction.

    Gladwell: cultural norms affect drinking! | Dr Vino's wine blog

  • HAGERTY: Fallon says that's because the orbital cortex puts a brake on another part of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved with aggression and appetites.

    A Neuroscientist Uncovers A Dark Secret

  • A structure next to the hippocampus called the amygdala is known to play a role in stamping this indelible mark.

    New Scientist - Online News

  • He's clearly oversimplifying, but Fallon says the orbital cortex puts a brake on another part of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved with aggression and appetites.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Adults with WS show abnormal activity in a brain structure called the amygdala, which is involved in responding to social threats and triggering unconscious negative emotional reactions to other races.

    dailyindia.com News Feed

  • Animal models of autism and Fragile X suggest that part of the problem in these disorders is overactivity in a brain region called the amygdala, which is associated with fear and anxiety, and is normally calmed by GABA.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • At a neurological level, fear activates the region of the brain known as the amygdala, which is the seat of fear, dread and anxiety.

    Daily News & Analysis

  • It seems, in a way, as though they are trying to prove that these video games are bad — and yet it’s common knowledge that the amygdala is affected when we feel ANY strong emotion.

    The Reality of Violence | The Stiletto Gang

  • Whenever your brain detects change, including desirable, positive change, it sends a "danger" signal to the amygdala, which is an almond-shaped piece of your brain situated roughly above your ears.

    Arielle Ford: Authors, Here's Your Brain on Success

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Comments

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  • Surely the words amygdala and amygdule are related even though they are worlds apart in meaning. The almond shape may be the clue.

    August 27, 2012

  • I have a cingulate gyrus controlling my emotional behaviour. That explains everything.

    July 12, 2008

  • But before that....

    October 13, 2007

  • Ah. I know this one. The monotonal Naboo queen from Star Wars. Right?

    October 13, 2007