The Neocortex-Our Logical Conscious Brain


According to Dr. Paul MacLean and his Triune Brain theory the most recent evolutionary part of our mind is the Neocortex. The Neocortex is in the upper part of our brain. Here the Neocortex controls higher executive thought-language, mathematics, and reasoning. In a normal development situation our three brains work together from the top down. Thinking at our highest level occurs in the Neocortex, as we are emotionally balanced in the Limbic System, which allows us to go into action with our Reptilian Brain.

The Neocortex is our conscious logical mind. This is what we typically think of when we think of our brain. It is important to recognize the conscious mind has the following traits:

It is logical.

It can deal in the abstract.  “I am going to Hawaii.” The conscious mind pictures a beach in Hawaii.

It likes “the rule of three.”

It does not like more then seven (the number beyond which the conscious mind loses track).

Unlike the unconscious mind it is able to deal with negatives.

It is not emotional.

See Howard Nations, Publications- Powerful Persuasion.

When dealing with a jury or anyone in a decision making situation it is important to relate to the three parts of the Triune Brain. It our next post we will discuss putting together the traits of the R-Complex, the Limbic System and the Neocortex in a presentation that appeals to the entire Triune Brain.

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10 Responses to “The Neocortex-Our Logical Conscious Brain”

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  7. John says:

    You say the ‘Neocortex controlls higher executive thought’. The use of the word ‘higer’ suggests the conscious mind thinks the unconscious mind is ‘lower’ than it is, whereas consciousness could only have evolved from the unconscious, rather than the other way round, so is premised upon it. The Golden Rule, for example, was more successfully practiced by our ancestors long before any theologian or lawyer consciously prescribed it. It could even be argued that much of the mess the world is now in, has resulted from conscious thought.
    More creedence to the unconscious please!

    • Trudell says:

      The use of the word “higher” when discussing the conscious mind is taken from McLean’s Triune Brain Theory. McLean teaches, as you state in your comment, the human brain has evolved in stages with a newer stage being stacked on top of an older stage. At the base of the brain we have the reptilian brain (fear and flight) on top of that we have the limbic brain (emotional unconscious) on top of that we have the neocortex (conscious). Thus, when I said higher I was referring to a higher (as in physically above) part of the brain. I agree the conscious mind is not higher (as in more advanced) then the unconscious brain. I also note recent neuropsychological research reveals the importance of the unconscious brain and how it is essential to our behavior. I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

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