Recapitulation & Triune Brain

Before leaving the biological transgenerational concept of  recapitulation, I feel a need  to address its relationship to the Triune Brain.  The Triune Brain (trifecta brain) was proposed by Paul MacLean (1990). It is a 3-part trichotomy manner of viewing and understanding the human brain. There are certain neurological researchers who reject MacLean’s model. They report that MRI studies indicate the totality of the brain interactions, and because of this unity the brain should not be described in sections. However, I point out that all theories and models have flaws including the trifecta brain.  I do understand and agree with the huge interdependency and interplay that is involved within in the human brain. At the same time, I support and suggest that the Triune Model’s evolutionary layering and specialization is beneficial in studying and describing our brain. The Triune Brain Model is really an evolutionary adaptation model (I argue a recapitulation model) based on three stages of brain evolution. I maintain the Triune Brain can be viewed as: 1.) the human brain is divided into 3 layers, or 2.) there actually exists 3 separate brains that interact. However viewed the three sections do represent an evolutionary biological stratification pattern of brain formation. George Gurdijieff  maintained that humans are 3-brain-beings, in the sense of having body-mind-emotions (1950). MacLean’s Theory has been criticized for being too simplistic. I argue that simplistic or not, it offers a plausible manner to study brain evolution, brain structures, brain functions, and how the various brain physiological layers overlap and interact.

Thus, I suggest that one way to view the Triune Brain is as a process of how ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny (see previous post). I theorize that the process of brain anatomical development, transition, and transformation from simple reactive functioning to complex conscious awareness is a byproduct of millions of years of brain evolution. The human brain is an emergent brain because it slowly, evolutionarily emerges from Reptilian, to Limbic, to Neocortex. I suggest the evolutionary development of the human brain can be vaguely compared to the structure of a house with the Reptilian Brain being the basement floor, the Limbic Brain the first floor, and the Neocortex the second floor. In brain biogenesis we evolve from fish brain at the top of the spinal cord, and then onto ever increasingly complex Reptilian, Mammalian, and Neocortex brain structures that are built on the spinal cord. Each of us undergoes this evolutionary recapitulation process of increasing brain cerebralization. Each of our brains re-enacts the evolutionary movement of Reptilian, Mammalian, and Neocortical progression. For me, this makes our brain a biological transgenerational brain and the forces that shaped our developmental brain from ages long ago continue to mold our modern brain, our behaviors, our emotions, our thoughts, the ways we function, and the very manner in which we try to satisfy our inherent basic, deeper, and higher needs.

triune brain