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The amygdala is a structure in the temporal lobe of the cerebral hemisphere. It is part of the limbic system.[1][2]

Amygdala damage

In 1939, researches found that monkeys with a large amount of their temporal lobes removed, including the amygdala. They were no longer afraid of snakes and humans, which are normal fear-provoking stimuli. This effect is known as the Klüver-Bucy syndrome.[3]

This has also been observed in rats and humans. Rats with damaged amygdala showed no fear when placed next to a cat.[4]


  1. Martin, JH (2003). Neuroanatomy text and atlas, 3rd ed., New York: McGraw-Hill.
  2. Kandel, ER; Schwartz JH, Jessell TM (2000). Principles of Neural Science, 4th ed., New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-8385-7701-6.
  3. Klüver, H., & Bucy, P.C. (1939). Preliminary analysis of functions of the temporal lobes in monkeys. Archives of Neurological Psychiatry, 42, 979-1000.
  4. Maren, S., and Faneslow, M.S. (1996). The amygdala and fear conditioning: Has the nut been cracked? Neuron, 16, 237-240