In this post we will continue to look at key models of emotions – this time focusing on the Papez circuit and its later development into the concept of the Limbic System.
Roxo and colleagues have published an article in the ‘Scientific World Journal’ titled ‘The Limbic System Conception and its Historical Evolution’. The article is freely available at PubMedCentral. This article is well worth looking out for the interested reader as the authors have have written an engaging article which provides an overview of the history of the limbic lobe and they communicate this clearly.
In the following I will take some of the important points from their document which will be helpful in building a model of emotional regulation.
1. Broca referred to the Great Limbic Lobe. This term was derived from the French word limbique meaning hoop. The limbic lobe was then referred to as the Rhinencephalon. Various other structures were incorporated into the Rhinencephalon by subsequent researchers.
2. In 1939 Kluver and Bucy showed that bilateral Temporal lobectomy produced an eponymous syndrome characterised by oral behaviour and passivity.
3. In 1937 Papez described the circuit of Papez. He proposed this as a circuits for the emotions which included the mesial Cerebral Cortex, Hypothalamus, Anterior Cingulate Cortex and the Hippocampus. Papez also believed that activity in the cerebral cortex was necessary for the experience of the emotions.
The Anterior Cingulate Cortex
4. McLean referred to the Rhinencephalon as the visceral brain. He suggested a role for the visceral brain in physical illnesses. McLean deemphasised the importance of the olfactory system in the emotions. He also suggested that the Hippocampus was the nucleus of the limbic system. McClean also suggested that emotional experiences resulted from an integration of sensations originating internally and externally. McLean looked at ways in which the limbic system could integrate these types of sensation.
5. McLean suggested the concept of the Tri-Une brain in 1969 which was divided into the Reptilian Brain, the Visceral Brain i.e. Limbic System and the Neocortex. McLean proposed that the Reptilian Brain was optimised for survival at an individual and group level.
6. LeDoux has suggested that there are additional systems involved in emotions and makes numerous points about the limbic system and its limitations based on research data.
Related Resources on this Site
Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.