Deep Waters in Brain

F. Frank LeFever flefever at
Mon Jun 22 21:51:00 EST 1998

In <358E63A0.AF759066 at> Xoqom <xoqom at> writes: 
>An elementary question:
>Can we say that the deeper we dig into the brain the more
>primitive but more fundamental functions we encounter,
>i.e. "higher" functions (emotions, self-reflection, etc.) tend
>to be located in the surface layers (cerebral cortex?) and
>"lower" but vital functions are buried deeper within?
>Can we make such a general statement about the brain
In a word, "No!"

While it may be true that evolution of an enormously expanded cortex
was necessary for some "higher" functions, this complex structure has
enormous numbers of RECIPROCAL connections with the "lower" centers,
and they have therefore evolved together, as a functional system.

Maclean's "tripartate" brain (reptilian, amphibian, etc.) was an
imaginative but almost metaphorical expression.

As regards "emotion", many people would emphasize the importance of a
"lower" center (the amygdala) in emotional experience...

Your reference to "deeper waters" fooled me: didn't read it as a
figurative expression; thought you were asking about ventricles...

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