A Study of the Brain

According to Dr. Daniel Amen, the brain completely remakes itself every few months. And because of the brain’s ability to do this, with proper therapy there have been remarkable breakthroughs in illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other debilitating brain disorders. So America there is hope for one of most crippling of brain disorders of our generation – Liberalism.

As a scientist of sorts myself, I have always been fascinated with the study of the human brain, and how the brain works. Paul MacLean, former director of the Laboratory of the Brain and Behavior at the United States National Institute of Mental Health, developed a model of the brain based on its evolutionary development. MacLean’s research is referred to as the “Triune Brain Theory“, where he suggests that the human brain is actually three brains in one.

The first brain to evolve was the reptilian brain or R-complex, which is primarily concerned with physical survival. The behaviors it governs have much in common with the survival behaviors of animals. It plays a crucial role in establishing home territory, reproduction and societies. The overriding characteristics of R-complex behaviors are that they are automatic, having a ritualistic quality. R-complex behaviors are typically highly resistant to change. [Bear with me readers, as I almost jumped on change right here and now. ]

The limbic system is the second brain to evolve, houses the primary centers of emotion. It includes the amygdala, which is important in the association of events with emotion, and the hippocampus, which is active in converting information into long-term memory and in memory recall. Because the limbic system links emotions with behavior, it serves to inhibit the R-complex and its preference for ritualistic, habitual ways of responding.

The final part of the triune brain to evolve according to MacLean is the neocortex, which makes up over 80% of the brain. The neocortex allows logical and formal operational thinking, giving us the ability for knowledge of forethought.

All the brains are interconnected, and the pathways selected are what make us individuals. So in my analysis of the election of Obama, I found it easy to see where people fit.

The Liberals relied heavily on their limbic system, with the occasional jaunt to the R-complex brains. Their decision to vote for Obama was primarily emotional, as they readily admit. They would say things like, “I just found him intelligent, articulate…and clean“, yet could not account for any specific policy issue(s) on which they agreed with him. And for those who did agree with him on policy, they fall more into the R-complex, because you could not logically come to the conclusions of Obama’s policies. Because as most experts will attest, Obama’s policies all conclude tragically, either unwieldy in cost and execution.

So for the Liberals, the highway between the limbic system and R-complex brains was very busy. However roadway to the neocortexes was as desolate as Death Valley.

The Conservatives on the other hand mostly utilized their neocortex brain, occasionally hitting the road to the R-complex, but only to utilize that area of the brain that is “highly resistant to change“.

Our decision-making was based on “logical and formal operational thinking“, augmented with tribal or societal behaviors, again our resistant to change. So we were keen to question Obama’s ties to other radicals, as well as his belief system. We held him accountable to his proposals, questioning their costs and plausibility. We questioned his credentials, as a way to understand how his mindset, so that we could make informed decisions. Predicted outcome is that the light will be shined on Obama, but not that good heavenly light he mentioned, and unfortunately for America, he will fail miserably.

So what does all this brain talk mean? As I indicated earlier, there is hope for Liberalism. However until they get treatment, when you consider that Conservatives rely on over 80% of our brains, and Liberals rely on 20% of their brains, it means that Conservatives really can beat up Liberals using only half our brains.

© 2008 Kevin Jackson – The Black Sphere All Rights Reserved

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