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The brain is one of the most complex organ in the known universe. Knowing the brain, understanding it, particularly way it operates, is still a huge mystery. Despite large progress in science in general and particular the science of the brain, we made only small steps toward understanding the nature of the brain and specifically how the mind works.
One of the things that was found out is that the human brain is in fact composed by three brains. The three brains within our head are: the lizard brain, the mammalian brain, and the human brain. It is not surprising that understanding nature and evolution helps us understand the evolution of the brain itself.
The older brain, that was developed a couple of hundred million years ago, is called the Lizards brain (also called the reptilian brain), which its main part is the brain stem. The Lizard brain (within animals such as such as fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds) is simple and small and responsible for basic vital life functions such as breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure, vision and bodily movement. This brain is concerned with gathering food, eating, drinking, sleeping, reproducing and defending themselves. For survival and reproduction purposes, the Lizard brain is also capable of lust (desire), anger and aggression to allow fights for protection and killing as well mating.
The next brain that was developed in the evolutionary process is the mammalian brain. It was emerged at about one hundred million years ago when the (as the name indicates) mammals appeared. The mammalian brain is more complex than the lizard brain and includes two brains, the lizard brain as well as the mammalian brain. So, in addition to the functionality of the Lizard brain, the mammalian brain, which also called the “emotional brain” allows for richer experience to include love and loyalty and other emotions. This brain also use emotions and also involved with memory formation and long-term memory. It connects events with feelings and manages hormones and temperature in the body. Like the Lizard brain, it operates primarily on a subconscious level and without a sense of time.
The emotional brain is active all the time, but particularly designed to engage in situations that arouse fear, anger, frustration and pity. By linking emotions with behavior, the mammalian brain serves to add a layer of control to the automatic responses of the reptilian brain. The mammalian brain is also inherently dominant in social situations when relating and caring for other members of the group.
As our ancestors evolved and becomes more social, poetry, art, music, language mathematics as well as deception, politics and religion have developed. This is when human brain, or specifically the neocortex, has evolved. The human brain is responsible for more complex information processing and has the ability to use logic, speech and writing. In addition to sensory processing, the neocortex enables executive decision-making, purposeful behavior and allows us to see ahead and plan for the future. This also can make us being “stuck” in the past and worry or stressful about the future.
So, the human brain includes all the above brains and because it is always there, humans are affected by them. This unique structure allows human to becomes the most dominant and powerful animal on earth in regards to the mind, yet it provides another set of challenges that other animals do not face.
Please visit author, Moshe Ratson at his google+ Profile:+Moshe Ratson