Limbic Root System – Our Limbic Brain Brain implants what has been indoctrinated or what has had a significant emotional impact on our 0-7 age brain. This imprintation makes for a deep-seated emotional root system. Once this Mammalian stamping-in takes place it is extremely difficult to erase or change. I suggest the limbic root system can be compared to a tree: 1.) the branches of the tree are the ways we interact, for good or bad, with the world. Our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are expressed on the branches, 2.) the trunk of the tree is the person, the self, a living being, and 3.) the roots represent imprintation of early indoctrination that can be positive, negative, or neutral. There can be the deep-seated roots where abuse and hurt are repressed in the personal unconsciousness. Our inborn unmet needs are often buried in the personal and the collective unconscious.
Limbic brain imprintation is involved with our beliefs and our values. What we believe and value is often developed at a preverbal time when the Mammalian Brain dominates. It is a time when language is limited and life experiences are taking place before awareness and comprehension has emerged. At this early age, the Neocortex doesn’t have the ability to critically analyze initially taught beliefs and values. Up to the ages of 5-7, the process of enculturation dictates societal norms, views, learned prejudices, etc. Between birth and the ages of 5-7, we are all a novice when it comes to life, and a neophyte empty vessel that environmental happenings are poured into. Between the ages of 6-8, I was first indoctrinated with my supernatural worldview while attending St. Mary’s Grade School. According to Newberg and Wildman human beings “are born to believe almost anything.” (2006) People believe the unbelievable. The brain is able to believe the fantastical, magical, superstitious, suspicious, and phobic. Our brain especially tends to believe what we see, hear, and are taught at an early age. Conspiracy theories of all kinds can be implanted in our Limbic Brain because of its tendency to believe just about anything. This tendency is true even for highly intelligent individuals I have known. The earlier something is implanted, it will leave an indelible impression that becomes entrenched, encoded, calcified, hardened, and the more difficult to erase. The Limbic Brain is one stubborn organ and is negativistic when challenged by new information. It operates …
The hippocampus is a Limbic Brain sea horse-shaped gray matter structure that is significant for spatial learning and memory. The hippocampus is the storehouse of emotional memories. The hippocampus has a function to store some of the emotionally charged incoming stimuli that the amygdala has recorded. It was Wilder Penfield who demonstrated how the memory function of the hippocampus is really more a biological process than a psychological process (1952). This might explain why we often consider many memories as “gut” feelings. The hippocampus is a major structure involved in bringing up past personal memories and species transgenerational memories (more to come).
The thalamus is a major component of the Limbic Brain. Thalamus the word comes from the Greek meaning room or chamber. The thalamus is a midline symmetrical structure that is mainly an ovid mass of wet gray matter. It has a kind of switchboard function that makes it an important brain structure. MRI research gives physical proof of the extensive thalamic (old brain) and neocortical (new brain) interconnections that are so important in wise decision-making. The thalamus relays incoming information like sensory input, spatial input, and motor input to the Neocortex. The thalamus relay function helps regulate sleep, alertness, and some aspects of being conscious of environmental surroundings. I will hypothesize in a later post that one major requirement for future human evolutionary prosocial advancement will depend upon increased, enhanced, and swifter anatomical thalamic-neocortical interconnections —> Next Step in Human Evolution.
The hypothalamus is a Limbic Brain structure situated below the thalamus (more to come). Functions of the hypothalamus include the regulation of body temperature, and the regulation of some autonomic activities. The hypothalamus is crucially important because it is involved with some of our most basic instinctual functions, or what some call the 4 F’s; i. e. food, fear, fun, and fuck. Due to these four functions the hypothalamus has been called the hedonistic hot spot of our brain, or the brain’s reward and pleasure center. I maintain that the hypothalamus is also involved in our four basal motivational needs for security-safety, worth, empowerment, and enjoyment (review previous posts).
The amygdala is a small almond shaped structure within the Limbic Brain (the name comes from the shape). The amygdala’s function is to emotionally record incoming stimuli. This function starts around three months after conception. Up until the age of five, children are receiving pure emotion without any cognitive interpretation of those emotions. Another way of saying this is without cognitive input, up to the age of five, emotions and feelings are similar. The downside of this means that up to the age of five most incoming sensorial information is unfiltered without conscious awareness or comprehension. This unfiltered incoming stimuli makes for a lack of any cognitive understanding of what has taken place, and ends up with memories that are only emotional. For children who have been abused before the age of five, these emotional memories can be devastating (more to come).
The Limbic Brain is the Mammalian Brain, and is estimated to be about 150 million years old. It is the intermediate brain (between Reptilian and Neocortex). The Limbic Brain is subcortical —> it sits below cortical neuronal structures. It takes instinctual and survival input from the Reptilian Brain and further develops it by being defensive, vigilant and protective. Our Limbic Brain is on-guard to engage incoming stimuli by reactions of fight or flight. It doesn’t operate in linear time, but instead its reactions to input are nonlinear because of its emotionality; i. e. emotions can rapidly switch. The Limbic Brain is an emotional structure and emotions change swiftly coming from many directions at any time. Since the Limbic Brain concerns our emotions, Nature has it play a dominant role for us —-> heart before head. Emotions are a primary alerting survival tool coming through a quantum/electrical/neurochemical system. The word limbic means border with the name coming from the ring that formed around the corpus callosum. Limbic structures are deep within the two cerebral hemispheres. Pierre Paul Broca (1878) called the Limbic system “le grand lobe limbique” because it wasn’t part of the Reptilian system. The human Mammalian Brain shares similar characteristics with all mammals because all mammals have some form of the key emotional responses of anger, fear, sadness, jealousy, and enjoyment. However, unlike other mammals who “feel” the emotions in pure form, with our Neocortex we often obsess, distort, exaggerate, and make assumptions about our emotions (more to come). We interpret emotions …