The Triune Brain Revisited

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

Moderator: Dan~

Re: The Triune Brain Revisited

Postby felix dakat » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:20 pm

Neuroscientists still refer to the human brain as having a tripartite structure, including a proto-reptilian brain, a paleo-mammalian brain, and a neocortex. Whether this has anything to do with the so called "magic of threes" phenomenon and whether that "magic" has something to do with the Christian Trinity, I don't know.

But, there are myriad instances of three-magical self-validation. Even jokes typically use the rule of three to set up a pattern followed by a subversive surprise the punchline. In journalism two is a fluke a third time is a trend. So there are a lot of trinities going on even outside of the world religions.

I think it makes sense to look for the origin of metaphors including this one in our embodied experience. So I suspect that something in Christian experience is the origin of the symbol of the Christian trinity.

But before they arrived at the divine Trinity, Christians were trying to figure out the relationship of Jesus of Nazareth to God. That debate went on for four centuries before they came up with the doctrine of the Trinity. When Trinitarian Christians read the Bible they see the Trinity in the text. But Unitarian Christians don't. Why do you suppose that is?

User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 8161
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: The Triune Brain Revisited

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:28 am

Guys, the Triune brain is generally NOT accepted these days...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_br ... _the_model
you can see this in the opening paragraph and then see some of the details under Status of the Model.
It is a nice, neat thing that is fairly easy to remember and so it's a meme that has fastened, but neuroscience has gone past it.
Jokes coming in threes has to do with 1 not being a pattern 2 makes the pattern, and now the audience is in on the joke, so their is anticipate, drama. I know this from performing in improv and humor writing. But even there 2 can work in great scenes and jokes and four also. It is not about our not at all neatly or perhaps even at all triune brain. It's not like the reptile brain notices the first and the mammalian brain the second instance, etc.
I suspect that unitarians don't see the Trinity because it isn't there, or better put, there is room for coming up with a wide range of number based models for C. The Bible is radically ad hoc. More so than most scriptures, perhaps all of the large religion texts. Given that C has more Bible than the Jewish 'bible' it is only more so. It a too many cooks spoil the broth concoction. And this concocting went on after all the pieces were gathered.
Small integers are going to be found if we go looking for them. We can find twos in all religions. Is that because we have a Triune brain or a bicameral one. Or is it because we have two sexes. Or is it because we are bilaterally symetrical. Or it is because it is a really neat aesthetically clear divide. We like dividing into opposites. It is hard to explain using the number one. Though the presocratics tended to be monists, making everying fire or water, etc.
We wnat simple models. And we have played around with the small integers, because those will be memes that most people can follow. Not because their brains are divided into some small integer, but because small integers are easier to remember than large ones. It gives us a handle.
I don't think Freud's model works with the Triune brain. None of those systems works well as a match for the different, supposedly discrete, parts of the brain. Yes, one could make the ID the reptile brain, but much of the unconscious id stuff is really rather conceptual. Some parts of the neocortex are like the superego, but then others are not. And I don't think the limbic system works as the ego. And the ID has a lot of limbic qualities.
Karpel Tunnel
Thinker
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: The Triune Brain Revisited

Postby felix dakat » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:24 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Guys, the Triune brain is generally NOT accepted these days...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_br ... _the_model
you can see this in the opening paragraph and then see some of the details under Status of the Model.
It is a nice, neat thing that is fairly easy to remember and so it's a meme that has fastened, but neuroscience has gone past it.
Jokes coming in threes has to do with 1 not being a pattern 2 makes the pattern, and now the audience is in on the joke, so their is anticipate, drama. I know this from performing in improv and humor writing. But even there 2 can work in great scenes and jokes and four also. It is not about our not at all neatly or perhaps even at all triune brain. It's not like the reptile brain notices the first and the mammalian brain the second instance, etc.
I suspect that unitarians don't see the Trinity because it isn't there, or better put, there is room for coming up with a wide range of number based models for C. The Bible is radically ad hoc. More so than most scriptures, perhaps all of the large religion texts. Given that C has more Bible than the Jewish 'bible' it is only more so. It a too many cooks spoil the broth concoction. And this concocting went on after all the pieces were gathered.
Small integers are going to be found if we go looking for them. We can find twos in all religions. Is that because we have a Triune brain or a bicameral one. Or is it because we have two sexes. Or is it because we are bilaterally symmetrical. Or it is because it is a really neat aesthetically clear divide. We like dividing into opposites. It is hard to explain using the number one. Though the presocratics tended to be monists, making everything fire or water, etc.
We wnat simple models. And we have played around with the small integers, because those will be memes that most people can follow. Not because their brains are divided into some small integer, but because small integers are easier to remember than large ones. It gives us a handle.
I don't think Freud's model works with the Triune brain. None of those systems works well as a match for the different, supposedly discrete, parts of the brain. Yes, one could make the ID the reptile brain, but much of the unconscious id stuff is really rather conceptual. Some parts of the neocortex are like the superego, but then others are not. And I don't think the limbic system works as the ego. And the ID has a lot of limbic qualities.


Oh I agree with you. What interests me is the rule of three, why it works and whether it isn't the principle that makes both the tripartite brain and the divine Trinity and other trinities like Freud's structure of the psyche, Newton's three laws of motion, the three acts of a play, the musical triad, etc. ad infinitum seem valid. The ancients knew of the rule of 3 and often employed it in their texts.

User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 8161
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: The Triune Brain Revisited

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:04 pm

That the rule of three is based on a small, easily remembered number is insufficient evidence for disclaiming its metaphoric significance. As for the brain's evolution, finding the neocortex in reptile brains only supports the idea of three in one, with the neocortex subordinate in that condition to the dominant brain
area. I agree, Karpel Tunnel, that one should be wary of assigning ideas to aspects of brain to topography. Ideas, at the ontological level amount to incentives for certain types of thinking. It is through the neo-cortexial filter that these impulses become types of conscious ideas.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
From the mad poet of McKinley Ave.
Ierrellus
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12533
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: state of evolving

Re: The Triune Brain Revisited

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:51 pm

Ierrellus wrote:That the rule of three is based on a small, easily remembered number is insufficient evidence for disclaiming its metaphoric significance. As for the brain's evolution, finding the neocortex in reptile brains only supports the idea of three in one, with the neocortex subordinate in that condition to the dominant brain
area. I agree, Karpel Tunnel, that one should be wary of assigning ideas to aspects of brain to topography. Ideas, at the ontological level amount to incentives for certain types of thinking. It is through the neo-cortexial filter that these impulses become types of conscious ideas.
To me if reptiles have neocortex we cannot call the neocortex a not-reptile part of the brain. I would also be very wary of saying which part of the brain is dominant in us or reptiles. All the brains functions are inter causal and while I may tell myself it was my neocortex or my having thought somethign through, I generally fnd later that unconscious/emotional factors were the ones that swayed me. And ones that seem better assigned to other parts of the brain , IF we are going to view this part alone having control at a given time on a given thing. Or that they function like discrete parts in us or them. Further I just don't see the parallels working out literally or metaphorically, and certainly not widely. And then why not two for the bicameral brain. You can actually separate those two parts and have a two brain personality.

I am not quite sure what you mean by metaphoric significance, as opposed to literal.

As far as my suggetion having insufficient evidence, I don't really see much evidence for the triune brain, which is no longer considered in neuroscience to be a good model, but i can see an interpretative neatness that might be appealing. I think we'd be left with assigning the HOly Spirit to the reptile brain and that just doesn't work for me. I have similar issues with many other ways the analogy would work in other religions and models.

I am not saying it isn't true, but I don't see much to go on, either interpretation wise or via science.

I think the case gets stronger with bicameral brain/mind, where at least some relatively good fits are out there, like Yin Yang. But I also feel pretty skeptical about that.

In pagan religions with their many gods, perhaps we would find brain parallels, and the types of functions found in what got called the reptile brain can be the qualities of deities, since the pagans are not so into all that transcendent perfection and holiness.

Three might come from father, mother, child. Three might come from subject, object, phenomenon or subject, object, relation. IOW social fundamentals with family. Or experiential fundamental. I think these fit just as well or better with, for example, the Trinity.
Karpel Tunnel
Thinker
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: The Triune Brain Revisited

Postby Ierrellus » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:37 pm

Thanks, Karpel Tunnel.
I do not believe MacLean's tripartite brain theory can be used to describe the Christian trinity or similar religious trinities. It's not a one size fits all theory.It does, however describe the pre-Christian Adam and Eve story as well as possible parts of the human psyche in action. Sperry's right brain/left brain theory requires a third "brain" to describe drives and instincts. By metaphoric significance I refer to physical underpinnings of the stated metaphor.
According to Julian Jaynes the bicameral brain broke down sometime within the past two thousand years. Added to the Gods speak/humans hear was Consciousness of Self or I hear and think. IMHO, yin and yang are incomplete descriptions for physical/mental reality. Without the I they are incomplete.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
From the mad poet of McKinley Ave.
Ierrellus
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 12533
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: state of evolving

Previous

Return to Religion and Spirituality



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users