of the primitive brain, the limbic system and the neocortex
Just as with bonsai trees, or rock gardens, these Neural Landscapes are
dedicated to meditation. Without histological observation, we would
never imagine that the instinct-related gyri in the human brain are so
confined, so tortured, while the cognition-related gyri are so spread
out, so calm and peaceful... Sections of the various stages of brain
evolution – the primitive, limbic and the neocortex - are
presented here using the same scale, inviting us to question our
behaviour and the origin of our actions.
While historically the vanitas make us think about death and the vanity
of life, the Neural Landscapes make us think about life growing and
evolving, about the relationship between microcosm and macrocosm, about
the delicate equations which balances the ratios of intelligence and
instinct, of visionary thinking and basic survival reflexes within our
behaviour... The skull of the traditional vanitas gives way to gray
matter, the container is replaced by the content. These are the
vanities of life in its reversible flow.
Note. The primitive brain or the reptilian complex, 400 million years
old, governs primitive behaviour, basic needs, the survival instinct.
The paleo-mammalian complex or the limbic system, 65 million years old,
governs instinctive behaviour, emotions, reactions to stress. The human
brain itself, the neocortex, 3.6 million years old, governs logical
reasoning, language, acts of anticipation.