3.2

WHAT IS A MIND?

The Evolution of the Brain

The brain is a fascinating instrument, not well understood, although neuroscience has begun to unlock its mysteries. It is not, as once thought, a general purpose calculator, but made up of a set of highly localized functions added as it has evolved, with the more rudimentary located at the back of the neck at the top of the spine and the more complex toward the front of the skull, ending up with a large frontal cortex that allows us to reason consciously. We can think of our brain “growing” on the end of our spinal cord to meet ever more complex needs.1

Although it is very complex, the brain is organized into three major parts: the Archipallium, or primitive reptilian brain; the Paleopallium, or ...

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