In the past few years I’ve become interested in various aspects of brain functioning. I’m interested in how the different parts of the brain work together or fail to work together in our daily lives.

I wonder about things like why I can’t stay away from snacks between meals, or why I keep procrastinating on things that I know are important.

As I learn more about how the human brain works, I’ve started thinking about my own brain as being composed of a Monkey brain and a Lizard brain. They have different jobs, and they don’t always agree.

There is an article about this by Christopher Bergland, who writes a blog for Psychology Today called “The Athelete’s Way.” He and his father have both written books on neurology that are written for regular people, not just neurologists.

The functional divisions between the cerebellum and the cerebrum are really interesting. Bergland’s book goes into great detail, but he gives a gestalt picture using this list:

Up Brain Down Brain
Cerebrum Cerebellum
Big brain Little brain
Primate platform Reptilian platform
Thinking (psychology) Non-thinking (behavioral)
Rational Emotional
Intellectual Intuitive
Free will Impulsive
Human Animal
Declarative memory Implicit muscle memory
MapQuest directions Autopilot
Conscious memory Unconscious memory
Strategic Athletic
Voluntary movement Proprioception
Lyrics Music
Volition Habit
Autobiographical self Core self
Modern Primitive
Superego Id
Reality Dream
Tip of the iceberg Under the surface iceberg
Knowing Knowing without knowing
Ethics/values Cravings/urges
Sportsmanlike Survival of the fittest
Top-down processing Bottom-up processing

His article is here: Psychology Today: The Athlete’s Way Blog