The person that you are, the essence of you, so to speak, is made up of 4 main things: your motivation, your emotions, the things you’ve learned, and your memories. Together, they determine how you react to life. It might seem a bit abstract, but don’t worry, all four pieces of you are grounded in something very concrete, the limbic system. This part of the brain contains structures that control and regulate motivation, emotions, learning, and memory. Working together.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you to work hard at something but disregard others? Why do we feel like certain tasks are more important than others? The limbic system works closely with other parts of the brain to form things like sex drive, the high we feel from taking drugs, and the pleasure we get from accomplishing a task. Can’t find the motivation to get to work because there are attractive people in your lab? Blame your limbic system.
People used to think that the amygdala controls fear responses. But this structure, found deep in the limbic system, is responsible for attention and social/emotional processes. Being able to focus on one thing and ignore others isn’t something that comes easily to many people. And this could be due to differences in the amygdala. Damage to the amygdala also results in anxiety disorders and the inability to judge who is trustworthy and who isn’t.
Learning and Memory
How we react emotionally to something depends a lot on our past experiences. Good experiences make us want to do the activity again. Bad experiences cause us to avoid the activity altogether. You can see how this all ties together into one complex system. An event happens to you, you learn about and remember that event. In the future, your feelings about it determine your motivation to put yourself in that same situation again.
The Essence of You
In a way, the limbic system contains the juice of who you are. Without it, you would be a fearless, super curious being with no long-term memories, an insanely high sex drive, and an inability to regulate things like hunger, thirst, or even body temperature. So, to celebrate the essence of you, we want to direct your attention to our limbic system necklace, a little reminder of what makes you who you are.
written by Science with Evie