The Limbic System-Our Emotional Unconscious Brain


As we learn from Dr. Paul MacLean the “limbic system” surrounds the R-System like a limb. This part of MacLean’s Triune brain is the emotional cognitive brain. This part of our brain adds our emotions which create long term memory.

“The limbic system is the heart of our brain from which our emotions and drives arise.” (Maria Robinson, Psychology Today).The limbic system operates unconsciously, it records likes and dislikes, it colors our impressions, and it is constantly judging experiences and people. Like the reptilian base of our brain the limbic system has its own agenda which often conflicts with our conscious wishes. See id.

It is important to recognize the emotional unconscious mind has the following key traits:

It records the total experience without dealing with details.

It experiences in the present tense like it is happening now..

It can deal with limitless information.

It cannot interpret a negative. Thus it only interprets positive statements.

It handles information emotionally.

See generally, Howard Nations, Powerful Persuasion (Howard Nations is a nationally recognized trial lawyer practicing in Texas. His website Publications are a must read for all trial lawyers).

Jurors will make decisions using all of their entire brain. This according to Paul MacLean means the R-Complex, the Limbic System, and the Neocortex.  In the next post we will discuss the Neocortex (the conscious brain).

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