Reptilian Brain Trigger: Food
Food is one of those necessities you need every day. Without it, your genes will be unable to replicate, and your body will die. While your reptilian brain evolved to keep your body alive and to serve the needs of your genes, food is a very powerful trigger. This trigger generates a strong response from your lizard brain. Food can trigger greed, aggression, obsessive and compulsive behavioral responses, by your reptilian brain. Especially when food is scarce, this trigger of the lizard brain will cause us to behave like animals, which only concern is to survive.
The Reptilian Brain :
The oldest of the three layers, the reptilian brain has been with us since the very beginning. The reptilian brain controls the body’s vital functions such as heart rate and breathing. The reason its referred to as the reptilian brain is because our reptilian brain includes the main structures found in a reptile’s brain: the brainstem and the cerebellum.
It is in this layer of the brain where some of our baser instincts are most often associated. These instincts include assessing threats, sexual desire, and more. Ultimately, actions that are core to our own survival are these unconscious instincts and can supercede any decision that occurs in the emotional or rational centers of the brain.
The Reptilian Brain & Neuroscience Marketing
To see the power of that the reptilian brain can wield, lets look at this study conducted by Stanford professor, Baba Shiv. Participants were challenged with trying to remember a series of numbers while picking between eating an appealing snack of chocolate cake, or a less attractive but healthier fruit salad. Heres what was found in this study:
- Participants challenged with remembering short sequence of numbers:
- 42% of participants chose cake
Because the logical and rational centers of the reptillian brain were somewhat involved with remembering a sequence of numbers, the instinctual desire for sugars and fats outweighed the desire for the healthier option.
The researchers in this study eventually concluded that what they found, …suggests that consumers are more often mindless rather than mindful decision makers.
This research suggests that, more often than not, people in the decision making process, go with their instinct rather than the rational thought process. Sure, it does play some role since the different layers often influence each other, but instincts are hard to ignore.
So when you approach selling by appealing to the reptilian brain, youre really applying the basics of neuroscience marketing . This is a new trend emerging amongst sales professionals and marketers alike by applying neuroscience research to understanding the customer purchase cycle.
Why Is The Brainstem Called The Reptilian Brain: What Is The Brain
From a computer perspective, and I am sure you are familiar with computers too, the human brain is the most complex software in the whole world.
In this awesome software are subregions that perform different but important tasks.
Now that youve understood what a brain is, let move to what a reptilian brain is.
Empower Customers To Go With Their Gut Feelings
When it comes to business and life, most of us probably assume that making decisions based on logic is always the best way to go. We like to think that a rational decision means gathering the facts, weighing all the pros and cons, and using logic to suss out the best option.
If your goal is to provide a customer with value and a solution to their problems, you can leverage one of the most powerful selling tools out there by appealing to their reptilian brain. When you feel comfortable with the concepts behind neuromarketing, you should be able to go back and strengthen your current sales strategy.
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Understanding The Idea Of A Triune Brain
Paul MacLeans idea of the triple brain is based on the idea that the human brain inhabits 3 different brain systems, with their own operating logics, and that each of them has appeared in our evolutionary line in a sequential way, the one over the other.
This means, among other things, that these three brains would be relatively independent and that they would be related to each other following a hierarchy, depending on their age and the importance of their functions for our survival.
The reptilian complex, for example, being the first to appear, would be the structure that carries out the most basic and most important functions to survive in the here and now, while the neocortex, being the most recent structure in the evolutionary line that leads to Homo sapiens, would be the one in charge of the most refined and complex functions.
The logic that follows this conception of the human brain is very reminiscent of a way of understanding evolution as a process in which the new accumulates on top of the old, so that these two parts maintain relative independence from each other, although the two parts are affected.
It also reminds of the idea that the emotional and the rational are part of two diametrically opposed psychological dimensions and that where there is one, the other does not fit.
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Origins Of The Reptilian Brain Myth
The concept behind the triune brain or reptilian/lizard brain was proposed back in the 1960s by neuroscientist Paul Maclean. MacLean suggested that the human brain is divided into three layers that each emerged in succession in the course of evolution.
The oldest, the reptilian brain or r-complex controls basic functions such as breathing, body temperature and heart rate. Next, the limbic system controls emotional responses. Finally, the cerebral cortex controls language and reason.
Despite McLean originally tagging the basal ganglia as the reptilian brain, Ive seen the phrase used to describe or label almost every brain structure except for the pre-frontal cortex!
Here are some examples where the reptilian brain is randomly labelled:
It is widely used by therapists, coaches and gurus to explain human behaviour, and most often to describe our response to threats via fight or flight responses.
The model especially appeals to psychotherapists because it seems to give biological credence to Freuds theory of personality with the id, ego and superego mapping neatly onto the reptilian, limbic and cortical brains.
Or its used to explain the irrationality of human behaviour whereby emotions dominate rational thought or logic. In fact, MacLean called the limbic system the paleomammalian complex and put that in charge of emotions andfight or flight.
Empower Your Crocodile Brain
The reptilian brain isnt trying to cause us suffering, quite the contrary. Its just that it needs to be trained and conditioned appropriately. Our conscious self has the ability to educate our primal physiology and actually empower it.
This is what my entire blog and YouTube channel are all about Body Mind Empowerment. And if youre interested in learning more about other strategies and tactics of improving and optimizing yourself, then check out the Body Mind Empowerment Handbook.
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A Theory Abandoned But Still Compelling
In 1977 readers were enthralled by The Dragons of Eden, a book by the astronomer Carl Sagan that explored the evolution of the human brain. Dragons won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and helped to launch Sagans celebrity as a spokesman for science in the 1980s.
The real star of the book, however, was a theory of human neural organization that took root some 30 years earlier in writings by Paul D. MacLean, M.D. 40. MacLean, who died last December at age 94, was a highly originalsome say eccentricthinker whose model of the triune brain, though now discredited, has had a lasting cultural impact.
Paul never traveled with the herd, said Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health, who worked alongside MacLean for 10 years at the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior in Poolesville, Md. Insel remembers his colleague as irreverent and uninhibited. MacLean once roamed through a room, Insel recalled, feeling the scalps of visiting scientists to ascertain the presence or absence of a skull protuberance he had deemed an important factor in the evolution of human intelligence.
How Your Reptilian Brain Controls Your Behavior
When we do an activity that makes us feel good, we release dopamine. Our reptilian brain recognizes that what we just did yielded positive results we did something that lit up our reward center.
As a result, it creates a pattern of recognition into our psyche, which motivates us to repeat our actions in the future to get the same results. Whether or not the action is actually good for us doesnt matter, because the basal ganglia cant consciously correspond with the world.
This creates a vicious cycle that can override any rational thought. Addiction, sex, junk food are all outcomes to this. You dont even like eating that doughnut, smoking that cigarette or drinking what your brain really craves for is the positive feedback.
Dopamine actually gets released the most in anticipation of the reward when youre about to take that bite or when youre about to ejaculate but after you reach the climax it gets oversaturated and youre back at craving for more.
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Powerful Reptilian Brain Hacks To Get More Control Over Your Life
Your Reptilian Brain is one of the most important organs in your body.
Most people don’t even know of the existence of this vital organ.
Let alone the fact that they are aware that …
The Reptilian Brain Controls
Time for you to become aware of the enormous power of this lizard brain and how to use it for your own benefits.
Have you ever bought something on an impulse, and regretted it later?
Or have you said something to somebody which you regretted, already a minute later?
Well, I know I have , and probably you have too.
In this article about the reptilian brain, you will learn why this happens to all of us.
Furthermore, by understanding your lizard brain, and by learning the 6 reptilian brain hacks…
…you will be able to take back control over your lizard brain…
…you will take back control over your life…
…you will know how to get the attention of other people when you want it…
…you will be able to motivate yourself when you need it…
…you will see more opportunities even when others don’t see them.
Let’s dive in!
What Does This Mean For Parents
Whilst all humans have these three parts of their brain present at birth, they dont develop for several years. One very important part of the brain the orbitofrontal cortex does not develop until the child is three. This part of the brain is responsible for emotional intelligence, our ability to see the world from anothers point of view and manage strong emotions such as rage or fear.
The development of this part of the brain and many others is not something that just happens naturally. It relies heavily on the interactions of others, namely the main caregivers of the child. Much of a babys brain is plastic so early experiences have a formative effect on how they will go on to interpret the world and form relationships later on in life. Parental interactions help form the synapses and bridges that give the child healthy solutions to difficult situations.
Luckily, there isnt a complicated set of tasks or exercises that parents should complete to aid the development of their childs brains. Nurturing and interacting is the key, teaching a child that their needs will get responded to in a caring, affectionate way, talking to them, showing them patience and even just eye contact are all important in helping your childs brain develop.
As parents, we wont always get it right, we all get frustrated and snap at our children at times, but even the process of apologising and things becoming OK again is very useful for our childrens developing brains.
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Evolutionary Development Of The Brain
One of the best known models for understanding brain structure is the evolutionary development of the brain model. This was developed by neuroscientist Paul MacLean and became very influential in the 1960s. Over the years since, however, several elements of this model have had to be revised in light of more recent neuroanatomical studies. It is still useful for understanding brain function in general terms. MacLeans original model distinguished three different brains that appeared successively during evolution. This short video by top biologist Robert Sapolsky explains the triune brain model. Here is another short video by neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr Dan Siegel with his handy model of he brain explaining this concept in an easy way to remember too. For a more formal overview of the brains parts and functions, watch this 5 minute video.
The Reptilian Brain
This is the oldest part of the brain. It developed about 400 million years ago. It consists of the main structures found in a reptiles brain: the brain stem and cerebellum. It is located deep within our head and fits on top of our spinal cord. It controls our most basic functions such as our heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, breathing and balance. It also helps coordinate with the other two brains within our head. The reptilian brain is reliable but tends to be somewhat rigid and compulsive.
The Limbic Brain. It is also called the Mammalian Brain
What Does The Reptilian Brain Want
Do you know that the most important sources of nutrients that we humans use for survival are sugar, salt, and fat?
Salt for the chemical reaction and balances the electrons in our body.
Fat is the main source of calorie and also helps all cells in the body.
Sugar provides fluid for the body and also provides instant energy. You remember glucose?
Our body naturally prefers sugar, salt, and fat. Other things that our body prefers are mating, achieving goals and eating any of those foods.
The body releases dopamine also known as reward neural transmitter, which makes the reptilian brain keeps wanting to do that same activity the produces the reward.
As a matter of fact, anything that is too much will always have a negative effect on the body.
And I am not saying you limit the rate at which you achieve your goals, but too much consumption of those food or having sex is bad for the body.
You can even be addicted to those things if you are not careful.
The bad thing is that the manufactural of those foods and sex materials also know this fact. They know that you becoming addict to these things will make you purchase what they sell more.
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Getting To The Root Of Their Pain Points
Part of communicating your product or services value is understanding the sorts of things your potential client is struggling with and needs some sort of solution. Having meaningful conversations with these prospects should give you just the right opportunity to hear their pain points and in their own words. The reptilian brain is most concerned with survival, and that means avoiding pain and frustration.
Over time, youll probably notice some trends begin to arise when conversing with several of your prospects. Eventually, youll have a deep comprehension of what ails them, and then you can swoop in by either demonstrating to them how your product can help them or entice them with some original content.
The Triune Brain: Three Brains Attempting To Work As One
How the Evolution of the Human Brain has Led to the Existence of the Triune Brain
- The reptilian brain, at the core, is responsible for arousal, homeostasis, and reproduction.
- The paleomammalian brain surrounding it is involved with learning, memory, and emotion.
- The neomammalian brain, required for conscious thought and self-awareness, sits atop the other two.
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The Reptilian Brain In Action
If the core part of you is based on survival, then isnt it possible that every action you do whether you perceive it as good or not is a survival mechanism? In other words, your actions may be influenced by survival mechanisms that have existed in your brain for years.
Lets look at a classic example: dont talk to strangers. Most parents repeat this to their children, especially when the children are very young. The intention behind this advice is pure. Your parents wanted to ward you away from people you dont know. As a child, youre innocent enough to believe that everybody you meet is a good person. This advice protects you from getting too close to people who might be dangerous to you.
Again, we see a survival mechanism at play. But the challenge is that this survival mechanism gets imprinted in your mind. Once you become an adult, not talking to strangers can be detrimental, rather than something that serves you. If you want to form a relationship with somebody new, you need to talk to a stranger.
A business owner who wants to form a partnership to strengthen their company will need to talk to strangers. Theyll also need to talk to strangers when hiring people. Suddenly, we see a survival mechanism that served us well as children working against us as we try to develop as adults.