Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our Deepest Fears

The development and connectivity of the amygdala have many implications for both early child development and psychotherapy. Without the inhibitory impact of the later-developing hippocampal-cortical networks, early fear experiences are unregulated, overwhelming full-body experiences. Because the amygdala is operational at birth, the experience of fear may be the strongest early emotion. Part of the power of early emotional learning may be the intensity of these unregulated negative affects in shaping early neural infrastructure. The infant is very dependent on caretakers to moderate these powerful experiences. Amygdala- and hippocampus-mediated memory systems are dissociable from one another, which means that early and traumatic memories can be stored without conscious awareness or cortical control. They will not be consciously remembered, but instead will emerge as sensory, motor, and emotional memories like traumatic flashbacks. --- pp.247-248, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy

2014-10-24: Today, I came across this post from two years ago by accident (it was viewed 5 times in the past week). It's a curious incident because I have been thinking about the role of "fears" in our lives recently, a lot, and came to this realization that one of the most important elements/functions of religion and spirituality has to do with the tension between fear and security.  

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