The Science of Learning
How Fear Hijacks the Brain
What’s really going on when a student reacts in fear for no apparent reason?
According to Stephen Porges, the neuroscientist behind the polyvagal theory, the amygdala stores traumatic memories as a kind of emotional “residue.” This residue makes the sympathetic nervous system hyper alert–it goes into continual overdrive, trying to detect danger.
The student’s rational side is no longer in control. The student is now subject to a complex interaction of brain chemicals and hormones.
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