What do chakras and addictive substances have in common? The brain, is that our mind? What are emotions? These questions are addressed in the following six pages. They give in a nutshell the main routes inside the body.

Energy  reproduction    hazards        -brain-body-behavior-hormones
gebak_ptmoeder_met_kind_ptVluchten_ptvechten_ptAll living is arranged  to exist and to continue to exist as a species.The environment is essential for the  survival. All life has therefore developed systems to respond to opportunities and threats in the environment. This is largely an automatic and intuitive process, even in humans. The brain shows, what to do. To this end they give a signal to the pituitary gland, that releases a hormone which stimulates the body issues to action. The main hormones are 1. to get energy; eat 2. reproduction, love en 3. to cope danger by fighting or fleeing. The most extensive systems in our body have to do with these three 'tasks'. Furthermore, we need to drink water and get air from the environment. The systems for this are less comprehensive. This because it is a matter of life or death rather quickly, you must be near water and air. Also the body temperature depends on the environment and is regularly brought up to standard. The scheme of all these things happen from the middle of the brain, in the meso-corticolimbic system. The way things are addressed within the different systems is comparable with those of our animal ancestors. Animals have in fact systems for these functions too, in part similar to human, partly different, adapted to the opportunities and dangers in their environment

Meso-corticolimbic-system-circuits/body axes
The pituitary gland hangs from the mesocortico-limbic system. It retrieves information from the rest of the brain. There are experiences of the past in the memory with a label: 'successfull' or 'unsuccessfull': nice or nasty; nice or sadsomething great or to get angry, or afraid of . We experience these labels in the form of emotions, although the experience of 'nice' or 'nasty' is usually not called an emotion. Emotions are the language of the body itself mainly linked to experiences in the field of love or of hazards. If there is a chance that one later in life has many dangers to face, then one gets from inside-out the incentive to practice already at a young age, this exercise with danger and excitement, sometimes even provoked by the person himself, will receive a positive emotional "reward". Thus an extensive repertoire develops, which later will come in handy. Gradually prefrontal lobes get more and more control over the emotional behavior and one gets more self-imposed rules. These lobes reach maturity on the age of 24.

Grow during sleep  
katten_die_slapen_ptThe epiphysis is more in the back of the brain than the pitiutary. It gives sleep hormone. We sleep every day to sort and organize experiences, while no more new experiences come in between. After sorting, the body can grow, strengthen or weaken brain connections, so next time we are better able to give a good response. You learn gradually what is safe and what to watch out for. But there may be more fundamental changes to take place, namely that the equilibrium ‘institutions’ of the hormone systems change themselves. The hormonal 'settings' are very precisely adjusted. That explains why you usually keep the same weight, more or less, for a long time and losing weight is so difficult. If any of the three pituitary systems come in a fix, for example when for a long period little food is available, then the brain is to customize to it. Then the body can for example set to become less active or uses another form of fat storage. Famine can change 'settings' (this is shown by examination of the effects of the Amsterdam hunger winter). It is similar to having experienced a lot of danger or stress and then becoming extra alert for hazards. Moreover it seems that the brain also without acute emergencies can adapt the 'settings' to the experiences of the past days and past. Other 'settings' lead to different behavior, even sometimes to a different 'personality'.

We look around to fill our needs and compare the environment with the stored previous experiences. There is usually a rhythm in which all needs are covered, which is most evident in daily sleep and getting hungry so we go to eat. This rhythm is largely determined from within, providing daily feature, but there is also influence on this from mind of the person himself and the circumstances in the area. We are less aware of emotional processes, for example, that we constantly watch if the environment is favorable or hostile to us. Yet there seems even to be an inner need to activate the emotional circuits regularly, possibly by way of exercise. This activation takes place not only by actually doing something, but can also be caused by seeing, through involvement and empathy. This explains why we like TV and movie watching and to what kind of movies we want to watch.