Limbic Brain

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 with cognitive input —-> we think about our emotions and interpretively “feel” them instead of feeling them in their pure form.  In posts to come, I will discuss the key sub-limbic structures of the Limbic Brain: amygdala, hypothalamus, thalamus, and hippocampus.

limbic brain