Reptilian Brain

Reptilian Brain

Triune brain, a term coined by Paul D. MacLean in the 1960s refers to three brain divisions in a human brain that emerged during the evolution. These three types from the brain’s complex evolutionary history do not function separate but have developed ways in which they are closely connected and are influenced by one another, and so they provide for the functions necessary for expression and sustaining.

The first evolutionary layers of human brain appeared with the emergence of mammals around 200 million years ago. The older structures of brain were not assumed to have such great significance as the cerebral cortex. Therefore, these structures show their efficacy of meeting specific fundamental needs, so there was no reason for these to vanish during the evolution. Instead, they expanded and added, and not rebuilt itself. The expansion and addition, thus divided the brain into Reptile Brain (it is the Base, the hindbrain and is the oldest and fastest), Mammal Brain (Limbic system responsible for emotions) and Human Brain (it is the Neocortex, the newest in evolution and is slowest in processing; responsible for thinking and reasoning).

Reptile Brain is the oldest among the three and is largely unchanged throughout the time period of evolution. We share it among all the other animals that have backbone; therefore, all the mammals of the modern age have this reptilian compound, including the human beings. Amazingly, human beings are conditioned to function and maneuver chiefly out of the reptilian brain. As a conservative estimate, five human behaviors draw from the reptilian brain; namely: isopraxic, modernization, preservative, tropistic and deceiving.

R-Complex is located under the large brain mass, that is, it is the lower part of the brain. That underneath part has the brainstem and the cerebellum, and it resembles to the structure that is created in a reptile’s brain. R-Complex or reptilian brain is known so because of the behavioral characteristics it is responsible for. The activities observed in this part of the brain are similar to that of the survival techniques associated with the reptilians. They include innate survival, hide or assail response, violent behavior, rage, terror, vengeance, tribalism and protective behavior, and generative or reproductive instincts. Further characteristics involved are also responsible for male-denominator, animalistic, base behavior which many human beings experience and exhibit.

By-passing or diverting the reptilian brain has to be discovered in order to thrive – by-pass through conscious detachment from reptilian brain. Detachment is a condition to have intent. In order to tell the difference, think of a situation that you have marked into your present reality; you must be able to separate or detach yourself from it prior to compulsively (with no forethought) acting in response to it.  Since it is mostly based on the approach to survival therefore it brings out impulsive responses.

The reptilian brain has a propensity to be irrational and rigid, but is counted highly reliable.

Erudition of Expression and Emotions

This primeval part in the brain is in charge of behavior way more than we ever realize. If failing to have a change in certain emotion boils frustration within us, then it is this reptilian lizard part of our brain that refrains us.

The two medical structural lobes: hippocampal complex and amygdala are associated to two autonomous memory systems; both having different characteristic purpose. The subtlety is there but they work in important ways when they both react during emotional situations. When emotional stimuli are come across, hippocampal complex becomes able to manipulate the amygdale response. To do so, it structures some periodic accounts of the emotional impact and interpretation of events. Even though these are self-regulating memory systems, but they operate in accordance when emotion meets the memory.

The amygdale reacts to an emotional stimulus in the environment quickly, ahead of consciousness or awareness, and usually, regardless of attentional focus.

The Mind and Body Psychotherapy provides insights to calming the reptilian brain. It is when we control our thoughts and deliberate behavior. It constantly is scanning for probable threats in our environment, thus, deciding for us to have a fight or flight.

The reptilian brain requires to be calmed down first; else the hardships in counseling are pointlessly aggravated.

Memory Encoding

A number of factors influence how fine a stimulus is encoded; for that reason, the aptitude to recognize and focus to the stimulus is a prime factor. Emotion can leave attention under influence by both: capturing attention and the effortlessness in which poignant stimuli are processed when attention is restricted. And when a second target stimulus is introduced shortly after the first, there is a high probability of it being missed. In other words, this restraint in attention is weakened with emotion. The amygdala is crucially an important part in the facilitation of attention with emotion.  

Ultimately, expressive occurrences obtain main concern when awareness and perception are influenced, because the amygdale can modify the programming of hippocampal-dependent episodic memory.

Very little is known about precisely how an episodic representation adjusts amygdale function. It is, to some extent, due to the fact that we have a rather poor understanding of the defined mechanisms of storage for hippocampal-dependent memories in general. It is very likely that working memory contributes to a significant part when an episodic memory is recovered.

Until lately, emotion was not characteristically measured in our efforts to understand cognitive behaviors, such as memory. However, it has turned out to be ever more clear that we can no longer abandon the discovery of emotion, as it hardly ever is absent in our routine functions. Consequently, complex interactions between emotion and memory that can be sole to human function must be further explored.

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