MEXICO – Two Career and Technical Education programs at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation joined together recently for a study on the brain, specifically the amygdala.
New Vision Allied Health and Nurse Assisting both have a focus in health and patient care. Understanding how the brain works and grows from childbirth to adulthood will be a vital tool for these students later on in their careers.
CiTi Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Roseann Bayne gave a presentation to the classes as a guest speaker.
In her current role and throughout her career, she has worked to advocate for and support students who face emotional, mental and physical challenges.
“The way you were raised, the way your brain developed, all has an impact on you,” said Bayne.
She later added, “Your emotional well-being affects your physical well-being.”
Bayne covered a few biological basics of the brain: the neocortex (responsible for high-order thinking), the brain stem (responsible or survival) and the limbic brain (responsible for emotions).
She shared that the amygdala is part of the limbic system, which activates a fight/fright/flight/freeze response in the brain stem when activated.
These responses are based on emotional learning and memory.
“An amygdala hijack is an immediate and overwhelming emotional response out of proportion to the stimulus, because it has triggered a more significant emotional threat,” said Bayne. “When the amygdala is consistently activated, it can cause symptoms such as sleep and appetite issues, anxiety, depression and more.”
Exercise, deep breathing and engaging in challenging, high-order thinking tasks are a few strategies to overcome an amygdala hijack.
“My students are currently studying the nervous system and how to care for those with nervous system disorders,” said Nurse Assisting instructor Julie Warren. “Mrs. Bayne’s presentation helped reinforce these concepts currently being taught in class.”