Emotional-Cognitive Dualism

One of the classic debates in neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy is the debate between a dualism of emotion vs. cognition. The debate between head-and-heart. Or, the debate between the Limbic Brain (emotive) and the Neocortex (cognitive). Emotional brain supporters argue that emotions predominate, while rational brain supporters argue cognition is paramount. This dualism can make for 2-Selfs: 1.) the emotional Self, and 2.) the cognitive Self. I ask, “What Self will predominate; the Self of ‘I think,’ or its dualistic counterpart of ‘I feel?’” George Vaillant  said, “human evolution has created a brain that has really 2 brains: 1.) mammalian brain that can feel, emote, and, 2.) homo sapien brain that can speak, think, analyze.” (2008) I attest that at this evolutionary stage of human nature we need both brains. The Limbic Brain gives us survival instincts, emotive elements, and intuitive powers. The Neocortex gives us the ability to think, gather new knowledge, organize this knowledge, and the capacity to plan ahead.  Importantly, I ask, “What will it take to allow for a working balance and alliance between the Limbic (emotive), and the Neocortical (cognitive)?”

cognition and emotions