The amygdala detects threat labels.
- The detection of threat labels by the amygdala is closely related to its identification of novelty in the environment. Moreover, the content and the context of the stimulus influence the need to assess novel stimuli for signals of threats. Hence, while under safe conditions it evaluates only biologically relevant novel stimuli, in potentially dangerous contexts, the amygdala assesses all novel stimuli.
- The amygdala can also, bidirectionally govern the risk behavior of rats who are foraging in a dynamic fear environment. Fear functions as a protective mechanism for animals by balancing the risk of predation with the animals’ need for basic resources. The amygdala is involved in mediating fear responses.