Revenge of the Lizard Brain

September 7, 2012, 10:45 am by Scientific American: Mind and Brain

There s a scene in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas in which the writer, high out of his mind on hallucinogens, watches a roomful of casino patrons transform into giant lizards and lunge at each other in bloody combat. Under the veneer of civilization, the scene suggests, we re all still reptiles, just waiting for the moment to strike. Strange as it seems, this drug-fueled vision reflects a biological theory that, back in the 60s, looked like it might be gaining some traction: Paul MacLean s infamous Triune Brain theory , whose basic idea is that every human brain contains three independent competing minds – the reptile, the early mammal, and the modern primate. [More]


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