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The Triune Brain

The Triune Brain


The concept of the Triune Brain, proposed by neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean in the 1960s, suggests that the human brain can be understood and divided into three major evolutionary components, each associated with different functions. These three components are often referred to as the reptilian brain, the mammalian brain or ‘limbic system’, and the human brain or ‘neocortex’.


The human brain is one of the most complex structures known to man. Whilst research has shown a great deal about it, it is still not well understood. It is thought that the human brain as we know it, evolved over time to find ways of meeting changing needs. A simple way of understanding the human brain is to think of it as consisting of 3 distinct parts. This way of studying the brain is known as the triune brain model of the brain. The first part of the triune brain to develop was the reptilian brain, or brain stem, followed by the mammalian brain, or limbic system and finally the human brain, known as the cortex or neo-cortex. According to this model, the cortex sits on top of the mammalian brain, which sits on top of the reptilian brain.


This resource provides 5 in-depth pages on this model perfect for therapists, mental health professionals, educators, or anyone looking to understand this model. 


8.5 x 11 inches


This file is for personal use only and cannot be altered, reproduced or resold commercially.

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