Characteristics Of The Reptilian Brain
This type of brain is not reflexive and, on the contrary, acts unconsciously and instinctively. Having as its main function to take care of our own survival, it is considered that it is also in charge of making it difficult for us to achieve our personal goals since it feels safe only being in a known terrain, however when it enters unknown terrain, it feels extremely threatened and prefers to flee and escape before facing something new.
What Are The Layers Of The Cerebrum
The cerebrum has two layers: one inner and one outer. The outer layer is known as the cerebral cortex . Most times, whenever you see photos of the brain, you are looking at the cerebral cortex. This area houses the brain’s “gray matter,” and is considered the “seat” of human consciousness. Higher brain functions such as thinking, reasoning, planning, emotion, memory, the processing of sensory information and speech all happen in the cerebral cortex. In other words, the cerebral cortex is what sets humans apart from other species.
The cerebral cortex is referred to as “gray matter,” due to its color and is responsible for several vital functions, such as those listed above.
What Is The Largest Part Of The Brain And What Is Its Function
Every day, were updating our internal map of reality. And its perhaps the biggest part of our brain which is doing most of this work.
The brain is the processor that allows our perception of the world. Its in a constant cycle of figuring things out. Every moment, your mind is processing data. Taking in new information. Mapping out reality. Understanding whats going on in the world.
Every day, in each moment, we consider whether or not its vital to update our internal map of reality. And its the largest part of the brain thats doing most of this work.
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What Is The Brain Stem And What Does It Do
The brain stem is the oldest, most primitive part of the human brain. This tube-shaped region is about three inches long and made up entirely out of nervous tissue.
The brain stem forms a bridge between the brain and the spinal cord and plays the most vital role of all. Despite its small size, the brain stem is one of the most important parts of your brain and body.
Its responsible for many vital functions. Breathing, swallowing, and digestion only to name a few. Your whole body and the rest of your brain all rely on a healthy brain stem function.
To get an understanding of how important its role really is, consider this analogy
A flower and all its petals, small branches and leaves represent your brain, body and its vital organs. The main stem and roots represent your brain stem. If you cut the flower off of the main stem, it will start to shrivel away and die.
Thats how important it is!
In this article, we will take a closer look at the structure, function, and importance of the brain stem.
The Primal Brain In The Modern World
It took millions of years for man’s instincts to develop. It will take millions more for them to even vary. It is fashionable to talk about changing man. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man, with his obsessive drive to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to take care of his own. William Bernbach , American advertising creative director
We might not be living in the same world as primitive man, but we are still met with threatening and potentially dangerous situations. The brainstem is responsible for keeping us safe now, as it was for early man. The health and functioning of this brain region largely determines our ability to detect and respond to threats. At the most basic level, the brainstem helps us identify familiar and unfamiliar things. Familiar things are usually seen as safe and preferable, while unfamiliar things are treated with suspicion until we have assessed them and the context in which they appear. For this reason, designers, advertisers, and anyone else involved in selling products tend to use familiarity as a means of evoking positive emotions.
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The Prefrontal Cortex: The Last Area Of Our Brain To Develop
Parents so often complain about how hard a time their teenage children have understanding things. They cant control their impulses and dont think enough before they act. They complain without realizing that the prefrontal cortex doesnt finish developing until youre 20-25 years old.
Its true that teenage children might seem like young adults. But its worth remembering that their brains are still very immature. In fact, the human brain matures from the neck up. What that means is that the prefrontal cortex is the last area to start. We dont develop the most sophisticated and valuable abilities our species has until later on.
That doesnt mean kids and teenagers cant make decisions until they hit twenty, though. They do so, and sometimes they even do it well. But you just have to remember that the development of the more complex skills comes year by year. So the more stimuli, challenges, support, and opportunities you give this cognitive evolution, the better it will turn out.
This is why you should always try to be understanding with kids at these ages. At the end of the day, all they need is time, patience, understanding, and good advice.
What Does The Prefrontal Cortex Do
A few years ago, scientists at the University of Missouri explained why our prefrontal cortex is so much bigger than the prefrontal cortex of other species on earth. According to them, it happened because of demographic pressure. In other words, the more people that entered our worldview, the better we got at interacting and communicating.
All of that, all this social, cognitive, and emotional experience, led to a more evolved prefrontal cortex. Now were going to show you what exactly this special part of our brain does.
- It coordinates and adjusts our social behavior.
- It helps you with impulse control and emotional processing.
- This is the area where a lot of processes related to our personality happen. Things like being more timid, more courageous, more open to experience, etc
- Motivation, finding the excitement and energy to reach a goal, these things also come from the prefrontal cortex.
- It helps us focus our attention, organize complex information, and plan.
- This is also where our working memory lives. This involves all the cognitive skills we use to retain information as we experience or do new things.
Given how important all these functions are, you can probably guess how terrible it is to have prefrontal cortex brain damage. People who have gone through brain trauma, neural degradation, or development issues in this area tend to have problems controlling their behavior, planning, deciding things, creating things, etc
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Evolution Of The Brain
The principles that govern the evolution of brain structure are not well understood. Brain to body size scales allometrically. Small bodied mammals have relatively large brains compared to their bodies whereas large mammals have smaller brain to body ratios. If brain weight is plotted against body weight for primates, the regression line of the sample points can indicate the brain power of a primate species. Lemurs for example fall below this line which means that for a primate of equivalent size, we would expect a larger brain size. Humans lie well above the line indicating that humans are more encephalized than lemurs. In fact, humans are more encephalized than all other primates.
The Lobes Of The Brain
The brain is separated into four lobes: the frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal lobes.
Lobes of the brain: The brain is divided into four lobes, each of which is associated with different types of mental processes. Clockwise from left: The frontal lobe is in blue at the front, the parietal lobe in yellow at the top, the occipital lobe in red at the back, and the temporal lobe in green on the bottom.
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In Conclusion: Brain Anatomy
The human brain is an incredibly complex, hardworking organ. As one-half of the human nervous system, the brain structure oversees nearly all of the body’s operations, including how we move, think, feel and understand ourselves and the world around us. And knowing all this brain anatomy is important. From the cerebrum, cerebellum and the brain stem, to all the parts in between: this three-pound organ is what makes us humans, well, human.
The Brain Is Flexible: Neuroplasticity
The control of some specific bodily functions, such as movement, vision, and hearing, is performed in specified areas of the cortex, and if these areas are damaged, the individual will likely lose the ability to perform the corresponding function. For instance, if an infant suffers damage to facial recognition areas in the temporal lobe, it is likely that he or she will never be able to recognize faces . On the other hand, the brain is not divided up in an entirely rigid way. The brains neurons have a remarkable capacity to reorganize and extend themselves to carry out particular functions in response to the needs of the organism, and to repair damage. As a result, the brain constantly creates new neural communication routes and rewires existing ones. Neuroplasticity refers to the brains ability to change its structure and function in response to experience or damage. Neuroplasticity enables us to learn and remember new things and adjust to new experiences.
Although neurons cannot repair or regenerate themselves as skin or blood vessels can, new evidence suggests that the brain can engage in neurogenesis, the forming of new neurons . These new neurons originate deep in the brain and may then migrate to other brain areas where they form new connections with other neurons . This leaves open the possibility that someday scientists might be able to rebuild damaged brains by creating drugs that help grow neurons.
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A Brief History Of The Brain
New Scientist tracks the evolution of our brain from its origin in ancient seas to its dramatic expansion in one ape and asks why it is now shrinking
See gallery& colon Your brains family album, from hydra to human
IT IS 30,000 years ago. A man enters a narrow cave in what is now the south of France. By the flickering light of a tallow lamp, he eases his way through to the furthest chamber. On one of the stone overhangs, he sketches in charcoal a picture of the head of a bison looming above a womans naked body.
In 1933, Pablo Picasso creates a strikingly similar image, called Minotaur Assaulting Girl.
That two artists, separated by 30 millennia, should produce such similar work seems astonishing. But perhaps we shouldnt be too surprised. Anatomically at least, our brains differ little from those of the people who painted the walls of the Chauvet cave all those years ago. Their art, part of the creative explosion of that time, is further evidence that they had brains just like ours.
How did we acquire our beautiful brains? How did the savage struggle for survival produce such an extraordinary object? This is a difficult question to answer, not least because brains do not fossilise. Thanks to the latest technologies, though, we can now trace the brains evolution in unprecedented detail, from a time before the very first nerve cells right up to the age of cave art and cubism.
Origins Of The ‘reptilian Complex’
The term, ‘reptilian brain’ is derived from a longstanding belief within the field of neuroanatomy that the forebrains of reptiles, and other small animals, were dominated by these structures. Paul MacLean suggested, within the Triune brain model, that the basal ganglia and a number of the surrounding structures within the base of the forebrain are responsible for ‘species-typical’ behaviors, which are present in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays.
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The Cerebral Cortex Creates Consciousness And Thinking
All animals have adapted to their environments by developing abilities that help them survive. Some animals have hard shells, others run extremely fast, and some have acute hearing. Human beings do not have any of these particular characteristics, but we do have one big advantage over other animalswe are very, very smart.
You might think that we should be able to determine the intelligence of an animal by looking at the ratio of the animals brain weight to the weight of its entire body. But this does not really work. The elephants brain is one thousandth of its weight, but the whales brain is only one ten-thousandth of its body weight. On the other hand, although the human brain is one 60th of its body weight, the mouses brain represents one fortieth of its body weight. Despite these comparisons, elephants do not seem 10 times smarter than whales, and humans definitely seem smarter than mice.
Figure 3.10 The Two Hemispheres
The brain is divided into two hemispheres , each of which has four lobes . Furthermore, there are specific cortical areas that control different processes.
Right Brain Left Brain
The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.
Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.
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The Emotion Centre Is The Oldest Part Of The Human Brain: Why Is Mood So Important
Our mood is a transient frame of mind that influences how we think and view the world. David Schap/Unsplash, CC BY
The brain is key to our existence, but theres a long way to go before neuroscience can truly capture its staggering capacity. For now, though, our Brain Control series explores what we do know about the brains command of six central functions: language, mood, memory, vision, personality and motor skills and what happens when things go wrong.
Somebody woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning. You know that comment the one that rarely makes you feel any more gracious towards the world . At other times you might feel particularly gracious and sunny, for no reason at all.
Our mood is a transient frame of mind that influences how we think and view the world. It is influenced by events in our lives, the amount of sleep we get, hormones, even the weather. But what role does the brain play in shaping our mood?
The limbic system
Many regions fundamental to mood are buried deep in the most primordial parts of the brain that is, they are thought to have been among the first to develop in the human species. This is probably because mood is evolutionarily important.
The limbic system is the major primordial brain network underpinning mood. Its a network of regions that work together to process and make sense of the world.
If you feel great, the hippocampus might guide you to walk down a path fringed with daffodils.from shutterstock.com
Where Is The Location Of The Brain Stem
Located just above the spinal cord, the brain stem connects the spinal cord to the cerebellum part of the brain. Its connection is made up of three pairs of nerve bundles known as cerebellar peduncles.
In addition, the brain stem also serves as the connection between the cerebrum and the cerebellum, two of the four main regions of the brain.
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Is The Brain Stem The Oldest Part Of The Brain
. Then, is the cerebellum The oldest part of the brain?
Our reptilian brain includes the main structures found in a reptile’s brain: the brain stem and the cerebellum. The reptilian brain, is the oldest, it controls the body’s vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature and balance.
Secondly, what part of the brain is responsible for thinking? The cerebrum, the large, outer part of the brain, controls reading, thinking, learning, speech, emotions and planned muscle movements like walking. It also controls vision, hearing and other senses. The cerebrum is divided two cerebral hemispheres : left and right.
Considering this, what is the old part of the brain?
The old brain including the brain stem, medulla, pons, reticular formation, thalamus, cerebellum, amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus regulates basic survival functions, such as breathing, moving, resting, feeding, emotions, and memory.
What is the most primitive part of the brain?
How Has The Human Brain Evolved
How has the human brain evolved over the years?
Emma Schachner , Salt Lake City
John Hawks, a professor of anthropology at the University of WisconsinMadison, answers:
Humans are known for sporting big brains. On average, the size of primates’ brains is nearly double what is expected for mammals of the same body size. Across nearly seven million years, the human brain has tripled in size, with most of this growth occurring in the past two million years.
Determining brain changes over time is tricky. We have no ancient brains to weigh on a scale. We can, however, measure the inside of ancient skulls, and a few rare fossils have preserved natural casts of the interior of skulls. Both approaches to looking at early skulls give us evidence about the volumes of ancient brains and some details about the relative sizes of major cerebral areas.
For the first two thirds of our history, the size of our ancestors’ brains was within the range of those of other apes living today. The species of the famous Lucy fossil, Australopithecus afarensis, had skulls with internal volumes of between 400 and 550 milliliters, whereas chimpanzee skulls hold around 400 ml and gorillas between 500 and 700 ml. During this time, Australopithecine brains started to show subtle changes in structure and shape as compared with apes. For instance, the neocortex had begun to expand, reorganizing its functions away from visual processing toward other regions of the brain.
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