The Thrilla Adjacent to the Amigdilla

Amy and Penny.

I thought of my neuroscience friends and colleagues when I heard the following dialogue from The Big Bang Theory. The conversation between Amy and Penny occurs after they have visited their boyfriends and observed another woman flirting with the men. Amy is a brilliant, though quirky scientist while Penny, possesses more street smarts than book smarts. They discuss Penny’s off-again, on-again relationship with her boyfriend, Leonard.

Penny: Maybe she was flirting with him, but who cares? I don’t even know where my relationship is with Leonard right now.

Amy: So says your pre-frontal cortex. But meanwhile, the limbic system of your brain is calculating that if another woman is attracted to Leonard, it must be because he is desirable.

Penny: Of course he’s desirable. He’s smart. He’s sweet. And in the bedroom – let me tell you – he really tries.

Amy: So it does bother you.

Penny: Fine! It bothers me a little. [Pause] No – you know this is stupid, it doesn’t bother me. [Pause] Okay, it bothers me, but only because she wouldn’t stop laughing. He’s not that funny.

Amy: And there you have it – pre-frontal cortex reasoning versus limbic lust. If this was a boxing match, they’d call it The Thrilla Adjacent to the Amig-dilla [laughs]. If you were a brain scientist, you’d be busting a gut right now!

Here’s to brain scientists everywhere.

About Gary Harper, The Joy of Conflict Resolution

Gary Harper is the principal of Harper and Associates. He is a trainer, writer and facilitator who specializes in conflict resolution. Through his unique blend of experience as a personal injury lawyer, general manager, insurance regulator and retail store owner, he learned the value of clear communication and conflict resolution skills. Since 1991 he has trained and mediated in a wide variety of organizations - from health care to the film industry to many levels of government. He is a member of the instructional team of the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the Justice Institute of B. C. and recently authored The Joy of Conflict Resolution: Transforming Victims, Villains and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home.
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2 Responses to The Thrilla Adjacent to the Amigdilla

  1. Michael says:

    The ‘Amygdilla’ doesn’t exist, though I understand your confusion, as her enunciation was supposed to mimic someone who uses the word [ And anything else related to neuroscience ] so often that the ability to speak it aloud is blurred. The word you’re looking for is ‘Amygdala’, not to say that I’ve the experience to correct you or anyone else. 🙂

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