Threesology Research Journal

Brain Attributes

(The Study of Threes)

It is well known that our brain develops the same three divisions found throughout the vertebrates from fishes to mammals, labeled the Hindbrain- Midbrain- Forebrain. There are three successive divisions labeled the Hind/Midbrain- Limbic system- Cerebral cortex. Let us also not forget to mention that our brain and spinal cord are surrounded, in a contemporary general sense, by the three membranes labeled Pia mater- Dura mater- Arachnoid process.

When we look at the assigned culturally recognized attributes of the human brain, we can see a distinct (over-lapping) 1-patterned, or 2-patterned, or 3-patterned arrangement that is not being taught in psychology classes, because the distinction has not been recognized:. However, my usage of the word "overlapping" may be improperly viewed as an analogy to an onion implies, since different behavioral characteristics of the brain can emerge and be sporadic, intermittent, or play a foremost dynamic role in one's personality, with other characteristics relegated to some form of vestigial remnant that may or may not emerge because the conditions to which an individual is subjected may not be the appropriate stimulus to awaken the reptilian survivalist, the creative innovator, or the architectural logistician, no matter what name they may apply to their endeavour of interest. In this sense, successive brain development along our past evolutionary trek has not completely engulfed previous structures, but, like one's hands and fingers attempting to grasp around a large foam column only to find that one's grasp is too short and must invariably clench in on but a portion thereof.

Left and Right brain hemisphere attributes

3-patterned formula to brain hemisphere attributes:

Left Hemisphere
(3-patterned dominant)

Associative- Commutative- Distributive
Sine- Cosine- Tangent
A2 + B2 = C2

Major Premise
Minor Premise

Time Sequencing:
Past~ Present~Future


Right Body Side:
Tri-cuspid heart valve
Three-lobed lung

Right Hemisphere
(2-patterned dominant)

Macro versus Micro
Whole versus Part
Inner versus Outer

Major Scale vs Minor Scale
Loud versus Soft (Quiet)
Consonance vs Dissonance

Visuospatial: (Art)
Background vs Foreground
Light vs Dark (Contrasts)
1 Dimension vs 2 Dimensions

Pain versus Pleasure
Positive vs Negative
Love versus Hate

Left Body Side:
Bi-cuspid heart valve
Two-lobed lung

Human Heart

The correlations of two and three being made on this page are not typical considerations involving common references to patterns-of-three specifically, or some topic where a pattern-of-three is used as an organizing formula. However, I did come across a single reference concerning the tricuspid valve. Whereas the question is a valid one with respect to a threesological discussion, the resulting explanation defined explicitly in the context of mere physiological mechanization of functionality, does little to supply an enhanced appreciation of the threes phenomena in the larger application of its appearance in the many other fields of research.

--- Why does the right side of the heart have a TRICUSPID valve? ---

Human Lungs

In recognizing that the left lung is smaller than the right lung (which provides room for the heart), let us conjecture that this is due to some past earlier developmental sequence just as we find the 1-layer, 2-layer, 3-layer sequential development of the 3 primordial germ layers (Ectoderm- Mesoderm- Endoderm) in primitive to more complex organisms. Hence, difference in size (dimorphism) as well as a "two" or "three" prominence may provide another link towards understanding developmental processes. Does this mean that the recurring smallness of the female to the male in many species indicates that females came before the male in terms of species-specific evolutionary development during particular environmental circumstances? If so, will there be an increased development towards a 3 to 1 "fusion" ratio?

In ancient times, it was once thought that a male child was generated from the right testicle and a female child from the left testicle. This right side = male and left side = female is in keeping with the cross-referencing pattern related to brain hemisphere functioning controlling the opposite side of the body, as seen when a person has a stroke. Hence, the right testicle is "connected" to the three-patterned dominant "logical" left hemisphere and the left testicle is "connected" to the two-patterned dominant "emotional" right hemisphere. (Historically, men were seen as logical and rational while women were viewed as illogical and irrational, whether or not you agree or disagree with this view.)

(Predominantly 1-Patterned)

(Self)-Preservation~ (Self)-Procreation~ (Self)-Preeminence

It can clearly be seen that the (Reptilian) brain is focused on singularity (one- in terms of a "self" centeredness), the Right hemisphere is focused on duality (two), and the left hemisphere is focused on patterns-of-three (triplicity). It is of interest to note that when we use the left hemisphere attribute "analysis" to define qualities of the right hemisphere, we often-times assign an additional third criteria in one form or another to the two-patterned references. When we use the right hemisphere attribute "viewing" (recognizing) to define qualities of the left hemisphere, we often-times alter the 3-part descriptions into 2-part "portraits." For example, and generally speaking:

Left Hemisphere "analyzing" Right Hemisphere:

Holistic may acquire the additional term "Synergy" or "Unity";
Music can develop a Triadic structure;
Art acquires a 3rd dimension and 3-color (trichromatic) theory;
Emotion is assigned words (in a 3-word fashion) such as Compassion, Patience, and Empathy.

Right HemisphereLeft Hemisphere:

Math may be seen as Give & Take;
Logic may become a Mind/Body dichotomy (that philosophers argue about for centuries);
Time is related to Life & Death;
Language is perceived as High & Low pitch.

Left Hemisphere "analyzing" Reptilian characteristics:

Left Hemisphere attributes may develop three criteria which distinguish a (3 in 1) singular nature, such as arousal, motivation, and impulse.

Right Hemisphere "viewing" Reptilian characteristics:

Right Hemisphere attributes may picture the basic drives as the seat of emotion whereby a type of kinship alliance is formulated in order to maintain the idea of a dual brain by not permitting the "Reptilian Brain" a separate entity status.

It is not yet certain to what extent (if any) a reptilian brain is aware of those (left/right) brain attributes which exceed its own capacities. In other words, how much of an advanced brain can a primitive brain know? To use a simple analogy, how much can the brain of a human know the brain of a god? In the present instance, the development of the right and left hemisphere characteristics far exceed those of the reptilian, even though some would argue that any degree of overlapping nullifies the usage of an analogy that suggests one is god-like and the other is extremely primitive.

123evolving consciousness

Note: In the many philosophical inquiries into discerning why the right and left sides of the body appear to reflect a "mirror image" symmetry, we should consider the genetic basis for this as being the result of an early environmental influence during life's pristine genesis. It is rather easy to consider this possibility when we can find a mirror image form of symmetry in geologic formations such as that with the Juan de Fuca Ridge off the coast of Vancouver. This formation of alternating "stripes" of molten rock crust is said to be due to geomagnetic reversals. If we can find such an alternating pattern of geomagnetic reversals in geologic formations, it is not too difficult to consider that the sensitive, impressionable, "highly suggestible" building blocks of life over billions of years may also have adapted to this environmental influence in some measure.

We must consider the possibility that the geomagnetic reversals occurred at a (accelerated?) rate sufficiently "tuned" to the "frequency" necessary for affecting biological-specific formations. In stating such, the connection between magnetic and electrical forces could be understood as degrees of symmetry necessary for our understanding the relationship between electro-magnetism and gravity, for which many physicists have sought a mathematical formula to explain such a relationship.

Additionally, we find (impulsively) rendered attempts to define the "whole" (as yet only) human brain as an inherently polarized structure by those "portraying" various 2-part (opposite) descriptions. {Recall "whole" & "impulsive" are attributes of the Right Hemisphere.} The following sample list is a 2-patterned holistic [gestalt] appraisal of the human brain which actually proceeds along a 1- 2- 3 maturational sequence, but this is not to imply that the entire sequence is always achieved. Not all individuals reach each successive stage at the same time, in the same manner, or completely.

Additional 1-2-3 examples:

(metaphysical attribute)

(one and many are viewed as opposites)

(metaphysical attribute)

Monistic/"Unitarian" thinking

Dualistic/Polarity thinking


(reliance on the "one," separateness, uniqueness, "chosen")

(increase in two-patterned views)

(increase in three-patterned views)

Archaic/primitive thought

Post archaic and Middle Ages thought

Post Middle Ages and present thought

{The brain is sometimes referred to as 3 brains in 1, consisting of (1)The Primal brain from a reptilian past (2)The Emotional brain from an early mammalian past (3)The Rational brain from more recent higher animals.}

--- Triune Brain --- (Link is forthcoming.)

In a more common reference to a Triune Brain configuration, we find the Reptilian brain at the center, the Limbic brain surrounding it, and the outer layer is called the neocortex. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, please be aware that my usage of Right Hemisphere, Left Hemisphere, and Limbic System (to denote primivity) is used as a format of generalized discussion to highlight the presence of an easily overlooked numerically-identifiable content that has broad, but specific application elsewhere.

***With the present content in mind, one example of this application is to acknowledge that there are three theories on the design of the brain. (Links will be forth coming.)

(1) Roger Sperry: --- Two-patterned Left brain/Right brain model ---

(2) Paul Mclean: --- Three-patterned Triune brain model ---

(3) Ned Herrman: --- Four-patterned Whole brain/Four Quadrant model ---

For those of you who make correlations between physiological patterns and patterns exhibited by cognitive processes, it may be of interest to note that studies in anatomy frequently center around 2, 3, and 4-chambered hearts.

Yes, there are other theories of the brain, the mind, our consciousness; with and without specific references to other attributes such as the body, the soul, and qualities as yet unlabeled with precise terms. And each of these has their own quantity of characteristics that can be assessed with a recurring number of specific qualities reiterated by the originator and/or followers thereof. However, in terms of cognitive processing on a fundamental level that is correlated to numerical progression (1~ 2~ 3..., etc.,) as an abstract expression of developmental growth, these other theories, such as one by Howard Gardner which claims we have multiple intelligences, is an example of the "Many" formula that will be touched upon later. This view does not in any way discredit the originator's claims, it merely places their theory into a theoretical context that has not been considered before in terms of a 1~ 2~ 3 maturational development sequence.

Left Hemisphere
Public Knowledge
Literal Meaning
The Creative: Heaven
Yang, Masculine
Light,Day, Sun
Spring, Summer
Reason, Cold
Secondary Process
Primary Symbolism
A Cognition
Convergent Thinking
Productive Thinking
Realistic Thinking
Right (side of body)
Sequential (Successive)
Conscious Processing
Discursive Symbolism
Time, History

Right Hemisphere
Creative (Artistic)
Private Knowledge
Metaphorical Meaning
The Receptive: Earth
Yin, Feminine
Night, Dark, Moon
Autumn, Winter
Emotion, Warm
Primary Process
Secondary Symbolism
B Cognition
Divergent Thinking
Blind Thinking
Autistic Thinking
Left (side of body)
Simultaneous (Multiple)
Pre-(Un)-conscious Processing
Presentational Symbolization
Eternity, Timelessness (Space)

Who Proposed idea

Many Sources
I Ching

The initial list comes from page 67 of Robert E. Ornstein's book "The Psychology of Consciousness" and is captioned with the title "The Two Modes of Consciousness." I simply added to it as I am sure you could add a few examples of your own. Parts of his book focuses on a Dual Brain idea. And why shouldn't it? He is a member of the old school of psychology even though his ideas were previously considered to be at the fore-front of a New Psychology Movement. I say old school of thought because this focus on duality is a generally accepted mainstay of modern Psychiatry and is no longer viewed as a controversial idea.

Another example of a polarized view comes from Stan Gooch, Total Man, (1972, pp.82-3):

System A

System B

Thought, thinking
Right-wing politics

Emotion, feeling
Magic ("illogic")
Left-wing politics
(Labour, Communism)

Gooch argues that this polarity can be traced back to the structure of the brain and nervous system. According to him, the brain and central nervous system generates the A polarity, and the Cerebellum (part of the "old brain") and the Autonomous nervous system generates the B-consciousness. (Above information adapted from:

--- Stan Gooch ---
(The page from which the information was initally culled in 2005 is no longer active.)

However, there are thousands of Counselors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists... as well as others in different fields of interest who are well aware of the limitations imposed by a "Dual Brain" concept. They are equally well aware that the usage of two-patterned views are a severe limitation to understanding human mental processes.

Let me give you a few examples of the "dual structure philosophy" modern Psychiatry imposes on the public:

Pleasure Principle
Stability Principle

Life Instincts:-

Object Libido:-
(object love or hate)




Reality Principle
Nirvana Principle

Death Instincts:-

Ego Libido:-
(narcissistic {self} love or hate)

However, not only can we find a recurring usage of two-patterned ideas in Psychotherapy, we also can find examples of "flexible triadic thinking" such as:

  1. The 3-legged Victim~ Persecutor~ Rescuer co-dependency

  2. Transactional analysis' drama triangle of Child ~ Parent ~ Adult

  3. NLP's (Neuro-linguistic Psychotherapy) Self ~ Other ~ Observer perceptual positions.

While these ideas are customarily portrayed as singular representations, it is no doubt clear to many professionals that there exist varying levels of overlap; depending on the context and definitions attributed to the labels that are employed in any given circumstance.

3 types of NLP triangles

But what needs to be appreciated is that even though there are many professionals (and non-mental health professionals) who keenly are aware of the dual and triple perspectives, they have not viewed these as symbolic extensions of underlying developmental processes which proceed along a 1~ 2~ 3 maturational development sequence. They also have not considered that the differences between the thinking processes of criminals as opposed to non-criminals can be interpreted as the result of criminals harboring a predominant two-patterned world view while non-criminals harbor a predominant three-patterned world view, whether or not the individual is aware of such.

Additionally, in a broader anthropological context, the developmental growth of human cognition from a two to a three-patterned expression may take much larger forms of representation similar to a Punctuated Equilibrium event in Evolution. In other words, while we may not condone the atrocities against human life that occurred during Hitler's Third Reich, this social movement may nonetheless be an expression of humanity's intermittent "drive" towards a: "Third Consciousness".

It thus behooves us to appreciate the possibility that Hitler's Third Reich, the French Revolution's Third Estate, and the Italian (Mussolini's) Third Way were but dress rehearsals of a much larger and more sophisticated "Three"- oriented movement yet to come... or perhaps it has already begun in some subtle fashion.

Your Questions, Comments or Additional information are welcomed:
Contact Herb O. Buckland