Sunday, March 15, 2015

Project 6: Perspective from a part of the brain : FIGHT OR FLIGHT

Here is a summary describing the Amygdala or action emotions portion of the brain:

Summary as described by source:

The reaction begins in the amygdala, which triggers a neural response in the hypothalamus. The initial reaction is followed by activation of the pituitary gland and secretion of the hormone ACTH. The adrenal gland is activated almost simultaneously and releases the neurotransmitter epinephrine. The release of chemical messengers results in the production of the hormone cortisol, which increases blood pressure, blood sugar, and suppresses the immune system. The initial response and subsequent reactions are triggered in an effort to create a boost of energy. This boost of energy is activated by epinephrine binding to liver cells and the subsequent production of glucose. Additionally, the circulation of cortisol functions to turn fatty acids into available energy, which prepares muscles throughout the body for response. Catecholamine hormones, such as adrenaline (epinephrine) or noradrenaline (norepinephrine), facilitate immediate physical reactions associated with a preparation for violent muscular action.

Being in similar situations where knee jerk reactions are key to your own survival while being in the Marines, this probably comes to no surprise that I chose this portion of the brain.

I developed a short series of scenarios and pictures associated with those scenarios and only two options per scenario for you to choose from to get a sense of how you would react. This isn't a test to figure out if you are a hero or whether the choice you make allows you another day on this planet.

Feel free to put your answers in the comment box or answer them within your head.

I was going to use my own photos and videos to activate responses among those who participate and then quickly realized that I didn't want to put you into my shoes when I was deployed nor do I want that many questions:

Scenario 1:

You are in school and forgot to finish one of the biggest assignments of the year. Do you:

  • Show up to class without the assignment in hand and face the music that you failed to do the work.
  • Not show up to class.
Scenario 2:

You are at a night club with some friends and look over to see someone pushing another person much smaller then them. You notice no one is doing anything about it and have to go in that direction anyway. Do you:

  • Confront the person
  • Try to avoid confrontation

Scenario 3:

One of your friends tells you about this wealthier person's hot tub in their backyard and how they are out of town for the weekend. The both of you sneak in to the backyard and slip into the hot tub. After 15-20 minutes or so a police officer walks around the corner with his light. Do you:

  • Run
  • Stay and face the consequences

Scenario 4:

In a bank, you are in the back where there is easy access to a door when someone pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot if anyone makes a move. Do you:

  • Quickly run out as they are not looking
  • Stay 

Scenario 5:

Your best friend is stuck in a house that is one fire. You know that emergency responders will not be there for a couple of minutes. Do you"

  • Go in, risk your life and save them
  • Wait for them to attempt a rescue

The purpose of this test is to show people that responses all vary based on the type of scenario you find yourself in. A person who will fire back in a firefight in Iraq may not confront someone who is picking on someone in the club. It's all mitigating risks for survival.

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