Intact electrodermal skin conductance responses after bilateral amygdala damage

Neuropsychologia. 1989;27(4):381-90. doi: 10.1016/0028-3932(89)90046-8.


Several lines of evidence have suggested that the amygdala is a crucial component of the anatomical network that mediates the skin conductance orienting response (SCOR). In this study, the electrodermal activity of a patient whose entire amygdaloid complex had been destroyed bilaterally, and of 7 age- and gender-matched controls, was recorded under the same experimental conditions. The results indicate unequivocally that the subject could generate normal skin conductance and SCORs, in response to stimuli of different sensory modalities and configurations. This suggests that the amygdala is not a necessary component of the neural network underlying SCORs and that there are alternate neural units and pathways that link sensory cortices to autonomic effectors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amygdala / physiopathology*
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Encephalitis / physiopathology*
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology*
  • Herpes Simplex / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Speech Perception / physiology