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The Triune Brain is one of the key scientific underpinnings of Shanker Self-Reg®. Developed by neuroscientist Paul McLean, the Triune Brain model has proven very useful in helping educators, parents and others who work with children. It’s a tool help understand and respond more supportively to behaviour and mood challenges like explosive behaviour, aggression, persistent crying, defiance and tantrums. 

The Triune Brain metaphor describes the human brain in terms of three dominant evolutionary systems/structures: 

The Triune Brain, image of the brain with the neocortex in blue, the limbic system in red and the reptilian brain in gray. Adapted from Paul MacLean's 1960's Triune Brain Model
  • the Reptilian brain (Gray Brain): regulates basic motor and metabolic functions necessary for survival such as heart rate, breathing and body temperature
  • the Paleomammalian brain (Red Brain): the home of primitive and/or strong emotions and urges, spotting enemies, initiating the fight-or-flight response
  • the Neocortex (Blue Brain): supports thinking, planning, listening, speaking, engaging socially and being consciously aware of what is going inside us and around us 

You can learn more about the Triune Brain in our Self-Reg Foundations Program which explores the Triune Brain in depth.

Dive Deeper with our blog Reframing Challenging Behaviour.