The second part of the nervous system to have a particularly
part to play in our emotional life is the autonomic nervous
The autonomic nervous system is composed of two parts, which function
in opposition to each other. The first is the sympathetic
system , which starts in the spinal cord and travels to a variety of
areas of the body. Its function appears to be preparing the body
for the kinds of vigorous activities associated with “fight or flight,”
that is, with running from danger or with preparing for violence.
The amygdala is also involved in the modulation of memory consolidation . Following any learning event, the long-term memory for the event is not formed instantaneously. Rather, information regarding the event is slowly assimilated into long-term (potentially lifelong) storage over time, possibly via long-term potentiation . Recent studies suggest that the amygdala regulates memory consolidation in other brain regions. Also, fear conditioning , a type of memory that is impaired following amygdala damage, is mediated in part by long-term potentiation.