Paul D. Maclean
and the theory of the “triune brain”
QUID+ has learned from Paul D. Maclean the importance of the three-brain theory, which helps us to understand what we should and shouldn’t say in order to achieve the desired result when we interact with our children.
Paul D. MacLean is an American neuroscientist who proposed the theory of the triune brain. According to this theory, each of the three parts (the reptilian brain, the limbic or paleomammalian brain and the neocortex) developed with the evolution of vertebrates. The oldest brain, the “reptilian complex”, is linked to the instinctive functions necessary for survival, the limbic is linked to emotions and the neocortex to language, logical reasoning and creativity. This theory, although subsequent scientific research has moved beyond MacLean's model, is still particularly useful for defining the most effective strategies to use when talking with others. The interaction between the three brains results in effective communication, which is crucial both to motivate our children and to make us, as adults, aware of the power of words.