posted on Feb, 9 2014 @ 11:53 PM
reply to post by Domo1
Medial cortical structures and subcortical medial structures are the most ancient parts of our brain, and they deal mostly with consolidating
affective experience with the various needs that animals require i.e. seeking (for food), rage and fear (to protect itself) lust (to reproduce) care
(in the case of mammals, to enhance survivability) and play (also in mammals, to foster social skills and seeking prowess).
Heres the breakdown: medial cortical structures refers to the areas of the brain that are along the midline - the center - in alignment with the
brainstem. "Medial cortical areas" are those areas of the cortex - which means "outer surface" - a very thin layer of neurons which basically
control our more complex functions. The middle areas of this part of the brain, in the frontal love (front of the head, at level with the eyes) are
ancient - hence homo neanderthalis, homo erectus, apes, monkeys, etc, all have this brain region. Simply look at their skull shape - its practically
the same. Conversely, humans have a more rounded and symmetrically shaped head with a "balance" between the front and back.
Subsortical medial structures are the same thing as cortical medial structures, except they are beneath (sub) the cortex. Those areas located at the
midline - the middle area - are the most ancient part of the vertebrate brain, evolved first in reptiles and lower mammals. Some neuroscientists posit
that mammals have 7 primary emotions, all clusters and spawning from regions deep within the brains midline region - this being the hypothalamus, the
nucleus accumbens, and the periaqueductal grey. Basically, lower limbic system and upper brain stem regions. This is where the neurochemicals which
generate SEEKING, FEAR, RAGE, LUST, GRIEF, CARE and PLAY are most heavily produced. Hence, if you destroy these areas of the brain in rats, or
monkeys, you essentially eliminate their affective (emotional) experience. They are barely awake. On the other hand, if you destroy higher subcortical
regions, like the thalamus, or striatum, or amygdala, you produce less severe effects in emotion.
My whole point in mentioning this was, homo neanderthalis lacked those areas in the human brain which make us so fundamentally different from them and
every other creature which has ever existed on earth. Neanderthals were, like other mammals and primates, preoccupied with survival, with only a
rudimentary sense of value and spirituality. Though, it is worth mentioning that some of the oldest cave paintings we know of were probably done by
neanderthals. This implies that they had a sophisticated layering of neural information processing that permitted more abstract emotions like awe and
wonder. But, unfortunately for them, they simply lacked the working memory to contend with the more sophisticated homo sapians.