Wiring

I read a line in a book the other day that went something like: the snake stared unblinkingly, cold and emotionless. Well it got me thinking. Snakes are reptiles and the reptilian brain doesn't have a cerebrum like we humans (and other mammals) have. Their most advanced part is the limbic system where our emotions arise. So snakes are animals of pure emotion and no logic. My apologies to the snake from the Garden of Eden--presumably he was a special case being, no doubt, Beelzebub in a fleshy disguise.

This leads me to another idea. People commonly assume that our cerebrum, where our conscious resides, is the dominant part of our brain. I find that conclusion odd though easily understood. Afterall, every conscious thought we have originates and is toyed with in our cerebrum. It's no surprise that we humans would have a strong affinity for the cerebrum. Yet it's the cerebellum where most of our actions originate and many of the everyday activities that we do are carried out there. And further down the evolutionary tree is the medulla oblongata (brainstem) where basic processes like breathing and digestion are regulated. Hell, every time a coach yells out "just do it, don't think about it" he's asking the athelete to ignore his cerebrum and allow the cerebellum to control that action. Think about that the next time you try to improve your tennis swing! Or better yet, don't think about it. ;-)

Comments

Nukapai said…
I think too much, that's my problem.

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