At the core, the very center of our brains…we are reptilian. Also called the “basal brain,” the “reptilian brain” is the most primitive part of the human brain. It includes the brainstem and the cerebellum and it is called the reptilian brain
We’re Reptilian at the Core!
because in animals, the brainstem and the cerebellum are the dominant parts of the brain. The brainstem also consists of the:
- medulla – which controls many autonomic reflexes, such as respiration, heartbeat and digestion.
- pons – which connects the cerebellum, spinal cord and advanced brain areas.
- midbrain – which helps control all motor function.
The reptilian brain actually begins to grow at conception. Since the brain grows in three stages, starting with the reptilian brain, it is the most mature, followed by the limbic system, the “emotional brain” and then the neocortex or “thinking brain.”
The reptilian brain keeps our heart pumping and our nervous system functioning. It controls our body movements and is responsible for the development of the five senses of smell, taste, touch, hearing and sight.
Since the reptilian brain is filled with primitive memories, it is also ritualistic and rigid. It is very mechanistic as well, repeating the same behaviors again and again, never learning from past mistakes. Yet, it may also be the same part of the brain that requires a big hug, because it controls all the senses – including touch.
So…have you hugged your “reptilian brain” today?