the amygdala: "The role of the amygdala has often been overlooked in models of brain function. In 1937, James Papez described neural structures and circuitry believed to control emotion and behavior. This system, termed the Papez circuit, included the cingulum, the hippocampus, the mammilary bodies and the anterior nucleus of the thalamus, without involving the amygdala. In 1949, Paul McLean expanded the original Papez circuit to encompass cortical structures and subcortical forebrain nuclei, including the amygdala. He termed these structures which were believed to connect the brain with the bodily organs the 'visceral brain,' and later the limbic system. Although McLean's limbic system included the amygdala, the focus was on the hippocampus as the primary functional structure in emotion." N. Keele, "Introduction To The Amygdala." intro.htm (Text slightly altered.)

the hub: "The amygdala is like the hub of a wheel. It receives low level inputs from sensory-specific regions of the thalamus, higher level information from sensory-specific cortex, and still higher level (sensory independent) information about the general situation from the hippocampus formation. Through such connections, the amygdala is able to process the emotional significance of individual stimuli as well as complex situations. The amygdala is, in essence, involved in the appraisal of emotional meaning. It is where trigger stimuli do their triggering." J. LeDoux, The Emotional Brain. New York, 1996. pp.168-9

many responses: "When the amygdala is up and running, its job is to match the sight of an approaching peer with cortical data on past experience, rank, and context; 'look up' a corresponding emotional label (e.g. fear, affection, fury); and initiate an appropriate cascade of autonomic, endocrine, and behavioral responses, ranging from the racing heart and surging hormones provoked by the sight of a potential mate to the gut--clenching, stomach-churning, adranaline-elevating effort on confronting a belligerent superior..." D. Niehoff, The Biology of Violence. New York, 1998. p.99.

eye gaze: "scientists recording cell responses in the amygdala found that, in addition to responding to facial expression and emotions, the cells also respond to the direction of eye gaze. For instance, one cell might fire if another person is looking directly at you, whereas a neighboring cell will fire only if that person's gaze is averted by a fraction of an inch. Still other cells fire when the gaze is way off to the left or the right." V.S. Ramachandran and S. Blakeslee, Phantoms In The Brain. New York, 1998. p.168.

slows breathing: "The lesson I learned from cat brains in Kyoto was that their rhythms of breathing go on to resonate through many higher regions. Among them is the central nucleus of the amygdala. Here, nerve cells fire measurably less whenever breathing is quieter and when expiration is prolonged. This reduced firing in the amygdala could itself contribute to physiological calming." J.H. Austin, Zen And The Brain. Cambridge, MA., 1998. p.98.

One of the oldest: "Our work indicates that the (Indo-European) protolanguage originated more than 6,000 years ago in eastern Anatolia and that some daughter languages must have differentiated in the course of migrations that took them first to the East and later to the West....recent evidence now places the probable origin of the Indo-European language in western Asia. Three generations of archaeologists and linguists have thus far excavated and deciphered manuscripts in close to a dozen ancient languages from sites in modern Turkey and as far east as Tocharia, in modern Turkestan. Their observations, together with new ideas in pure linguistic theory, have made it necessary to revise the canons of linguistic evolution. The landscape described by the protolanguage as now resolved must lie somewhere in the crescent that curves around the southern shores of the Black Sea, south from the Balkan peninsula, east across ancient Ana tolia (today the non-European  territories of Turkey) and north to the Caucasus Mountains. Here the agricultural revolution created the food surplus that impelled the Indo-Europeans to found villages and city-states from which, about 6,000 years ago, they began their migrations over the Eurasian continent and into history."
T.V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov, "The Early History of Indo-European Languages." Scientific American, March 1990. p.110

epilepsy: "Epilepsy is rooted in the Greek word epilambanein, which means to seize upon, or to be seized, and it is the letter meaning that first described the sudden way in which people appeared to be overtaken by forces outside themselves. One moment they were perfectly normal, and the next they had fallen to the ground unconscious, foaming at the mouth, their bodies convulsing violently. Seizures seemed to be the work of demons, and the hapless people who were under the spell or curse of epilepsy were shunned and always suspect." R. Martin, Matters Gray and White. New York, 1986. p.44-5.

to survival: "Among the simplest uses of odour are those of prey-seeking and the avoidance of predators. In the basic form a predator is guided to its prey by its odour, while the prey animal takes avoiding action when it smells the predator. A corollary to the predator/prey context is the use of odour to deter predators, as with the evil effluvium of the skunk, and of the use of an alarm pheromone to warn members of the same species of danger...Another simple use of an odour is to guide an animal home. This can be the simple use of an odour that guides the salmon on its way upriver to the native stream or the sophisticated trail-laying behaviour of ants which mark their path with a pheromone so that they and their companions can find their way back to a source of food as surely as Theseus followed the trail of twine through the labyrinth of the minotaur." R. Burton, The Language of Smell. London, 1976. p.11.