I am amazed at how the mind functions. In a short conversation with someone, he said “that creature” and without knowing the thing or even slightly being aware of it.
Just by hearing the word “creature”, my brain gave it a negative connotation. Due to which, I thought of “that creature” as some visually and by the very nature of it as ugly.
But why did I do that? This judgement of mine was based on what logic or fact?
All of this has to do with how we had interpreted the information “creature” when our brain first heard it. The first impression of the word decides how is the word treated by the marvellous brain going further.
All of this has to do with an almond shaped brain structure called amygdala which is believed to be responsible for assigning these emotional reactions.
Until recently, we believed that a sub region in Amygdala – Basolateral Amygdala (BLA) – was responsible for processing fear. But then, how can the same region be processing both emotions.
Digging deeper, the scientists found that the target destination of these intermingling neurons might help us get to where the distinction is made. So, checking the strength of connection between Basolateral Amygdala and Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) and between BLA and Centromedial Amygdala (CeM) for each neutron population will give you an idea. If it flows to NAc, it is a positive reward and if it flows to CeM, it is considered fear inducing.
How does that distinction happen? I believe there is still research going on in this field of near transmission.
But one thing is sure, that each information is not looked in as a separate entity and instead the entire information comes in as by relativity valuation the brain decides which information is strengthening which path (BLA->NAc or BLA ->CeM) and based on that, the emotions are displayed.
To conclude, I would like to bring you back to my main point which is “pre conceived notions”. When we hear about something we already heard before, we need to give the same amount of attention thereby asking the brain to rethink on the path chosen, make that decision again and thereby arriving on the emotional activity.