The Operative Processes of Nervous Systems

As research progressed, it became clear that functions of the neurons (a specialized cell transmitting nerve impulses) could best be fitted into nervous system function by considering their operations at four fundamental hierarchical levels: 1) molecular; 2) cellular; 3) systems; 4) and behavioral. These levels rest on the fundamental principle that neurons communicate chemically, by the activity-dependent secretion of neurotransmitters, at specialized points of contact named synapses.

At the behavioral level of neuroscience research, emphasis is on the interactions between individuals and their collective environment.

Research at the behavioral level focuses on the integrative phenomena that link populations of neurons (often operationally or empirically defined) into extended specialized circuits, ensembles, or more pervasively distributed “systems” that integrate the physiological expression of a learned, reflexive, or spontaneously generated behavioral response. Behavioral research also includes the operations of higher mental activity, such as memory, learning, speech, abstract reasoning, and consciousness.

As the neuroscientific bases for some elemental behaviors have become better understood, new aspects of neuroscience applied to problems of daily life have begun to emerge. These advances have given rise to the concept that it is possible to understand where in the brain the decision-making process occurs, or to identify the kinds of information necessary to decide whether to act or not.

The detailed quantitative data that now exist on the details of neuronal structure, function, and behaviour have driven the development of computational neurosciences. This new branch of neuroscience research seeks to predict the performance of neurons, neuronal properties, and neural networks based on their discernible quantitative properties.

The central nervous system is most commonly divided into major structural units, consisting of the major physical subdivisions of the brain. Thus, mammalian neuroscientists divide the central nervous system into the brain and spinal cord and further divide the brain into regions readily seen by the simplest of dissections.

Three parts of the brain - 1) The Old Brain; 2) The Mid Brain; 3) The New Brain;
Three parts of the brain – 1) The Old Brain; 2) The Mid Brain; 3) The New Brain;

 

Based on research, there are three parts to the brain: 1) new brain; 2) old brain; 3) and mid brain.

The New Brain

The New Brain is the cerebrum, frontal lobes and cortex: where logic, conscious thought, empathy and art are created, often called the “fore brain”. New brain is a modern development of humans and other advanced mammals.

Modern designers would say ‘new brain’ possesses superb damage-limitation, safety/survival and redundancy/recovery features. i.e. its sensing and control crosses over laterally – each side of brain controls opposite side of body – and vertically – top of brain controls feet & legs, mid-side of brain controls upper body and arms, lower-side of brain controls head, speech, hearing.

Indications are that the more `human’ thought processes – consciousness, valuing beauty, art, emotions and relating to others – are unique to the new brain and tend to be performed on its right-hand side, free from the rigidity and selfishness imposed by our primitive ‘old brain‘.

The Old Brain

The Old Brain is the brain-stem and cerebellum, often called the “reptile brain” or “lizard brain”, is where reflex responses arise, where repetitive routines are stored, and animalistic attributes remembered.

Old-brain is extra-primitive in that it is directly coupled to the body’s sensing and motor sites: e.g. right side to right side and so on. It therefore lacks all of the damage limitation & redundancy or safety features of the ‘new brain’.

Indications are that `rote-learning’ processes like reading, calculation (math) and even speaking a language (especially formally), although they’re performed in the new brain’s left-hand side, puts them under the control of the old brain’s cerebellum – which then handles learned routines like spelling, pronunciation, grammar, basic arithmetic etc. This might be responsible for colder, more selfish & dogmatic displayed by ‘professionals’ and ‘academics’ of all kinds.

The Mid Brain

The Mid Brain is a short stem which serves the function of being a path between the new brain and the old brain. Its upper portion forms corpora quadrigemina and its remainder forms the peduncles of brain. The overall cavity of mid brain is displayed by fine canal, aqueduct of sylvius or the iter and goes further up to the fourth ventricle and opens in the heart’s third ventricle.

The midbrain contains groups of neurons, each of which seem to use predominantly a particular type of chemical messenger, but all of which project up to cerebral hemispheres. It is thought that these can modulate the activity of neurons in the higher centres of the brain to mediate such functions as sleep, attention or reward.

The diencephalon is divided into two very different areas called the thalamus and the hypothalamus: The thalamus relays impulses from all sensory systems to the cerebral cortex, which in turn sends messages back to the thalamus. This back-and-forward aspect of connectivity in the brain is intriguing – information doesn’t just travel one way.
The hypothalamus controls functions such as eating and drinking, and it also regulates the release of hormones involved in sexual functions.

So the new brain takes care of conscious processing; the mid brain processes emotions, pictures, stories, and faces; and the old brain is interested in survival. It’s scanning the world looking for what to eat, mate with, and avoid. Saying “Can I eat it? Can I have sex with it? Will it kill me?

To apply a usable, persuasive, and engaging activity that will get people to take the action you are hoping they will take, you have to have stimuli that will have all three parts of the brain relate and communicate with each other.

In short, all that we perceive and think about are combinations of pictures, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes. This is why we react to certain stimuli. When we see a green mango, or smell sampaguita in the air, it takes us back to similar experiences. The synapses get aroused behind the scenes out of our awareness.

Using NLP psychological techniques, we can hope to gain the ability to improve, enhance or modify any aspect of ourselves. It can be an extremely powerful tool, when used correctly.

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