On the Origin and Progressive Evolution of the Triune Brain

  • Paul D. MacLean


That the cerebral hemispheres are requisite for the spontaneous, directed activities of terrestrial vertebrates has been well known since the last century. As Ferrier (1876) noted, if a decerebrated animal “be left to itself, undisturbed by any form of external stimulus, it remains fixed and immovable on the same spot, and unless artificially fed, dies of starvation....” As has since been repeatedly confirmed, the neuraxis below the level of the hemispheres contains the neural apparatus required for posture and locomotion and the integrated performance of bodily actions involved in self-preservation and procreation. Since the cerebral hemispheres are essential for psychological functions, they may appropriately be referred to as the psychencephalon.


Limbic System Squirrel Monkey Hippocampal Formation Maternal Behavior Medial Forebrain Bundle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul D. MacLean
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Brain Evolution and BehaviorNational Institute of Mental HealthPoolesvilleUSA

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