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> fight or flight, what makes us act or overreact?
chris 64
post Jan 21, 2013, 10:52 PM
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Kinda long

I'm new at studying the brain. Much of this letter is a copy of another web site. I don't want to debate on the accuracy of this website. I'm just using it to ask my question. The time that it takes to think was something I guessed. I read some tea leaves then flipped a coin. I don't expect that to be accurate.

My question is: what makes us overreact?

Input comes from or senses. (see, hear, touch, etc) and then gets routed to the thalmus. From there, it spits off into two paths.

The short road

Amygdala, Hypothalmus

One of these paths takes will take us straight to the amygdala. If we're about to get mauled by a bear or hit by a speeding car, we need to act fast. We don't have time to stop and think about our options. We need to spring into action now!

The long road
Sensory cortex, Hippocampus, Amygdala, Hypothalmus

Both developing thoughts meet at the amygdala. The longer road take can take 0.5 3 seconds to get there. However, the short path takes only 0.0005 seconds.

This is where things can go haywire. If the brain feels stress, the developing thought that's taking the short road reacts instantly. We don't wait for the one that's taking the long road. We may think the worst, prepare for it and then calm down (or try to) if we find out that it wasn't the worst as we assumed in the first place.

For example, we hear the front door rattle. The rattling noise races to the thalmus, From there it splits in two directions. One developing thought goes straight to the amygdala where it's determined that it could be a murderer trying to force his way in! It then jumps to the hypothalmus where it prepares for fight or flight!

the hypothalamus activates two systems: the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system. The sympathetic nervous system uses nerve pathways to initiate reactions in the body, and the adrenal-cortical system uses the bloodstream.


Then the developing thought that's taken the long road catches up. The sensory cortex determines that there is more than one possible interpretation of the data and passes it along to the hippocampus to establish context. The hippocampus asks questions like, "Have I seen this particular stimulus before? If so, what did it mean that time? It also remembers minutes before that it heard the rustling of leaves. To make a long story short, it determined that the rattling door was the wind.

Again, much of this info was copied from science dot howstuffworks

I'm not trying to debate the accuracy. My question is why do we sometimes shoot first and ask questions later? Is it stress? What part of the brain does this? If we are a jumpy person, we do this often. Why? What are the parts of the brain that causes the developing thought that took the short road NOT to wait for the one that took the long road?
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P JayS
post Jan 22, 2013, 01:10 PM
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What causes us to over re-act? : Jealousy. Not envious jealousy but the kind from the heart that motivated us to action of some sort, as the result of thinking that we are not being taken seriously enough, as supposed on the part of the jealous one, in the circumstance that you feel that another individual or group of persons in front of witnesses or without witnesses (just the other party/parties and just oneself or the jealous one) has slighted you, perhaps, somehow.

The re-action to the circumstance, whether seeing the matter from one own's perspective (way of thinking) or as the true reality, being made present, in the face of the jealously prone individual in life; is a matter of judging whether you are being respected or not and what word or action you choose to take to try and rectify the situation with the other party/parties, on the part of the jealous person, at hand.

A fight ensues when the recipient of the jealously now thinks that they have been affronted somehow now as well. The opposing parties then would judge each other as being proud in the case at hand.

This re-action at hand, on the part of the jealous individual, could even be viewed as irrational, by others who have experienced the result of the words or actions of the jealous person against themselves, particularly when the proud jealous one holds the position of Authority in some respect or another.

In my opinion anyway.

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