Difference between Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex

Amygdala and prefrontal cortex are unique structures found in the brain of complex organisms. Both the structures are responsible for memory formation and emotional stimulation in such organisms. However, they differ structurally and work differently. Let us look at the major differences between amygdala and prefrontal cortex in the table below.

Amygdala

Amygdala is an almond-like structure present in the medial temporal lobe of the brain in higher organisms such as humans. They are found in pairs on either side of the brain and their chief function involves memory creation and processing emotional events.

It is part of the limbic system of the brain that is majorly associated with memory and emotions. Anatomically, the amygdala is made up of a cluster of neurons. Any emotion in humans has an intensity (high or low) and a valence (positive or negative), the study of amygdala neurons reflect these properties of emotions, such as anger, regret, excitement, joy, satisfaction and disgust.

The amygdala also plays a role in emotional arousing by processing pheromones and the sense of smell. Additionally, the amygdala also influences decision making and memory formation.

Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is located in the anterior portion of the frontal lobe in the brain. It is majorly responsible for attention and creating short-term memory in mammals. It is also present on both sides of the brain.

The PFC also influences language and speaking of an organism. It helps in the production of speech, comprehension of language and planning a response before speaking.

Amygdala vs Prefrontal Cortex

Amygdala

Prefrontal Cortex

Description

Amygdala are almond-like paired structures present in the medial temporal brain of complex organisms.

Prefrontal cortex is a cerebral cortex that is present in the anterior portion of the frontal lobe of the brain.

Response to Stress

The amygdala detects stress in the environment.

The prefrontal cortex regulates our reaction to the stress in the environment.

Location

It is located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain.

It is located in the frontal lobe of the brain.

Memory

It is associated with the formation of long term memories.

It is associated with the formation of short term memories.

Functions

  • It helps in identifying the intensity and valence of emotions.
  • It is involved in memory formation.
  • It also helps in emotional arousing.
  • The PFC helps in attention and creating short-term memories in the brain.
  • It also helps in production of speech and comprehension of language.

Explore BYJU’S Biology for more related topics.

Also Read:

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex

What is the relationship between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala?

The prefrontal cortex and amygdala work together in response to stress. While the amygdala detects stress, the prefrontal cortex justifies the reaction to that stress. The relationship between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala is crucial for stress response, emotion regulation and memory formation.

Can the amygdala and prefrontal cortex work at the same time?

Yes, the amygdala and prefrontal cortex can work at the same time to create stress response.

What happens if your prefrontal cortex is damaged?

Organisms with a damaged prefrontal cortex are often mentally challenged. They face multiple mental disorders, and face a problem in controlling their emotions.

What is the difference between the amygdala and hypothalamus?

The amygdala and hypothalamus are both associated with emotional response in the brain. Additionally, the hypothalamus is responsible for hormone production and nervous system functions such as controlling body temperature and the urge to eat and drink.

What is the difference between amygdala and hippocampus?

Amygdala is located in the medial region of the temporal lobe, whereas hippocampus is located in the interior regions of the temporal lobe. Both the structures work together to process emotions and store long term memories.

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

DOWNLOAD

App Now