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The Triune Brain

There’s this really cool thing I learned about the brain. It’s called the triune brain. They are the Reptilian, paleo mammalian and Neomammalian complexes.

 

Neomammalian consists of the neocortex. This is where all our high level thinking occurs. It’s the part of our brain that basically tells how smart we are and how we’re able to do stuff like write, talk and create art.

 

The  paleo mammalian brain is the limbic system. It’s responsible for motivation and emotion involved with feeding, reproductive behavior and being a parent.

 

Then there’s the oldest part of our brain, the reptilian complex…

 

This sucker controls all our involuntary behavior.  It makes adrenaline pump and it really hates uncertainty.

 

It kicks in almost without warning.

 

When you’re in a dangerous place it turns on.

 

When you’re in an argument it start buzzing the alarm signals.

 

Think about this for a moment.  You can’t directly will adrenaline to pump.

 

You can’t directly force yourself to get in “fear mode.”  It happens because someone or some situation is taking potentially taking control of you.

 

This ‘fear mode’ can be triggered by something as simple as being able to not find your keys in the morning.

 

It’s not just about fear, it’s about anger.  Fear and anger…. they are 2 sides of the same coin.

 

Fear is flight.

 

Anger is fight.

 

They are automatic.  It takes a lot for the neocortex to pause these automatic processes.

 

And often, what we think is higher level neocortex thinking is actually the reptilian brain controlling things waiting to take fight or flight.

 

Tricking you into believing that you’re being logical when in fact you’re not.

 

-Ryan

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