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Brain-Based Correlates of Our Three Intelligence Centres

HEAD => Prefrontal Cortex/Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex/Parietal Cortex, Hippocampus/Anterior Cingulate Cortex

Prefrontal cortex: The prefrontal cortex is involved in a range of higher-order cognitive functions such as planning, decision-making, problem-solving, and working memory. It plays a critical role in the integration of cognitive and emotional processing, making it relevant for the head intelligence aspect of this centre.

Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC): The dlPFC is implicated in executive functions such as cognitive control, abstract reasoning, and mental flexibility. It contributes to the analytical and logical aspects of Head Intelligence.

Parietal cortex: The parietal cortex is involved in processing and integrating sensory information, spatial awareness, and mathematical reasoning. It plays a role in the analytical and problem-solving aspects of Head Intelligence.

Hippocampus: The hippocampus is a key structure within the limbic system, involved in the formation and retrieval of memories. It contributes to the learning and knowledge-seeking aspects of Head Intelligence.

Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC): The ACC is involved in various cognitive processes, such as conflict monitoring, error detection, and attention. It plays a role in processing cognitive and emotional information, which is relevant to the decision-making aspects of Head Intelligence.



Limbic system: The limbic system, which includes the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus, is responsible for processing emotions, motivation, and certain aspects of memory. This system is crucial for emotional processing and emotional responses, which are central to Heart Intelligence.

Prefrontal cortex: The prefrontal cortex is involved in higher-order cognitive functions, such as decision-making, planning, impulse control, and emotional regulation. It plays a role in the integration of emotional and cognitive processing.

Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC): The ACC is involved in various cognitive and emotional processes, including conflict monitoring, error detection, and empathy. It plays a role mainly in processing social and emotional information.

Ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC): The vmPFC is implicated in emotional decision-making, moral reasoning, and the processing of reward and punishment. It contributes to the evaluation of social and emotional information.

Mirror neuron system: The mirror neuron system, which includes regions such as the premotor cortex, the parietal cortex, and the superior temporal sulcus, is involved in understanding the actions, intentions, and emotions of others. This system is relevant to the relational and empathetic aspects of heart intelligence in this mode of Being.


Insular cortex (insula): The insular cortex is involved in processing interoceptive information, or the sense of the body’s internal physiological state. It plays a role in perceiving and integrating information about bodily sensations, such as hunger, pain, and temperature. The insula has been implicated in intuitive decision-making and could contribute to the gut intelligence concept as laid out in the Enneagram.

Vagus nerve: The vagus nerve is the primary channel of communication between the brain and the gut, connecting the central nervous system (CNS) and the enteric nervous system (ENS). It plays a crucial role in transmitting signals related to digestion, immune response, and mood regulation. The vagus nerve could be involved in the transmission of gut feelings or sensations that influence decision-making and behaviour.

Autonomic nervous system (ANS): The ANS, composed of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, regulates unconscious physiological processes, such as heart rate, respiration, and digestion. The ANS also plays a role in emotional and stress responses, which could contribute to the instinctual aspect of gut intelligence as it is understood as a personality paradigm.