2 Answers

  1. The “reptilian brain” usually refers to the midbrain, cerebellum, and hypothalamus as supposedly “the oldest parts of the brain” (perhaps the list varies slightly from source to source). A cursory Googling revealed that the term is extremely popular in various pseudoscientific texts about self-development, coaching, and pseudopsychotherapy practices. where it refers to those areas of our brain that are responsible for the most primitive instincts and behavior. Most of these articles are not trustworthy, because a) all parts of the brain already exist in reptiles, including the hemispheres, so the division into parts that appeared in reptiles and parts that appeared later is incorrect, and b) these parts of the brain are not responsible for behavior (precisely because there are other parts that already exist in reptiles).

    I gave my first answer before I noticed that Alexander Sviyash, a big fan of the idea of the “reptilian brain”, was present on this site. I said earlier that the idea was pseudoscientific, and he gave me a great opportunity to demonstrate why. The word Sviyashu:

    We have two independent and almost independent decision-making centers in our heads.

    One of them is our ancient Reptilian brain, which ensures our safety and procreation through three instincts-procreation, survival, and the pack instinct. Neuroscientists believe that the Reptilian brain appeared in us two million years ago.

    The second is the so-called New Brain or Neocortex. It is only 40 thousand years old. This is our left hemisphere, which is responsible for our rationality, logic, forecasting, and so on.

    And our right hemisphere, which “manages” creativity, intuition, superpowers.

    I would really like to know how our distant ancestors lived before they had a reptilian brain. What was in their cranium before the reptilian brain appeared there? Mammals are descended from theriodonts, reptiles, and appeared 225 million years ago. If the reptilian brain appears in mammals 2 million years ago, then it turns out that having descended from reptiles, our distant ancestors forgot to bring a reptilian brain with them, and then suddenly remembered about it and grew it again. But if they have regrown it, then it is no longer a reptilian brain, it is a completely different, newly invented design, and it is still unclear how they even existed without a brain until this moment. Maybe Sviyash just missed a couple of zeros in his numbers? The pair will not be enough, 200 million years will not save us, by this time mammals are already running around the planet with might and main, and they should already have the reptilian brain inherited from reptiles. Add another zero, we get two billion, too many, reptiles appeared 300 million years ago. Fish? 500 million years ago. By the way, what does the fish brain look like? There are anterior, middle, intermediate and medulla oblongata, as well as the cerebellum – that is, all those parts that are part of the” reptilian brain ” and even a little more. Maybe we should call a reptilian brain a fish brain?

    Okay, there's clearly some kind of dating error here, maybe the neocortex is all right? 40,000 years ago, anatomically modern man appears. What about the neocortex? The neocortex is present in all mammals, starting with the lowest ones, although it is much more developed in our country. Therefore, the neocortex should appear either in the first mammals,or even in reptiles. Just Google “animal brain evolution” to find out that reptiles already have the beginnings of a neocortex.

    Putting this information together with data about what part of the brain is responsible for, you can firmly make sure that you should not read any text that tries to appeal to the concept of a reptilian brain, because these appeals are completely false. And it doesn't matter if the person writes this text, sincerely deluded, or to get money from you.

  2. This is a figurative expression that indicates the degree of development of a person's mental abilities. Reptiles are at a lower stage of development than humans.

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