Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Rory McQuiston
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_291


Historical Background

The amygdala was originally described by Burdach in the late nineteenth century as an almond-shaped structure situated deep in the anterior temporal lobe of the central nervous system. The amygdala was subsequently shown to be important for the appropriate processing of emotional information in nonhuman primates by Kluver and Bucy in the 1930s. This permitted McLean to include the amygdala in the group of brain structures that make up the limbic system thought to be involved in processing of emotional information. Since then progress has continued toward understanding the role that the amygdala plays in processing and encoding emotional information in the mammalian central nervous system.

Current Knowledge

The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure located in the medial temporal lobe of mammals. However, the first description of this almond-shaped structure only referred to a portion of the amygdala called the basal...

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References and Readings

  1. Ledoux, J. (2007). The amygdala. Current Biology, 17, 868–874.Google Scholar
  2. Ledoux, J. E. (2000). Emotion circuits in the brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 23, 155–184.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Phelps, E. A., & Ledoux, J. E. (2005). Contributions of the amygdala to emotion processing: from animal models to human behavior. Neuron, 48, 175–187.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Sah, P., Faber, E. S., Lopez De Armentia, M., & Power, J. (2003). The Amygdaloid complex: anatomy and physiology. Physiological Reviews, 83, 803–834.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rory McQuiston
    • 1
  1. 1.Anatomy & NeurobiologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA