Acting rash or unwise? Don’t blame your ‘lizard brain’, claims ‘Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain’ book

Credit: Lisa Feldman Barrett
Credit: Lisa Feldman Barrett

Scientists have long posited that time and evolution stratified the human brain, with the oldest and crudest lizard layer lurking at the bottom, followed by the mammalian limbic system, which controls emotion, and topped by the uniquely human neocortex, which guides rational thought.

But according to Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor at Northeastern University, the idea that the human brain developed a way to rein in our inner lizard is one of the most persistent and widespread errors in all of science.

In her slim but potent “Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain,” Ms. Barrett eagerly dispels this and other myths about the gray matter between our ears. She writes that the notion that the human brain has three discrete layers emerged in the mid-20th century, when the best technology available was a microscope.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Ms. Barrett writes that scientists have recently discovered that the brains of all mammals—and most likely all vertebrates—follow a single manufacturing plan… Sure, our brain seems impressive, but we are simply one animal among many with a noodle adapted to the task of survival. “Other animals are not inferior to humans,” Ms. Barrett writes. “Your brain is not more evolved than a rat or lizard brain, just differently evolved.”

Related article:  Viewpoint: Only a tiny percentage of children face threat of severe coronavirus complications. That risk isn't high enough to justify lockdowns

[Editor’s note: Find “Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain” here.]

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend