Our limbic part of the brain has been inherited from apes and is known as the “Old Brain”.This understands only symbols & signals and has no power for rational thinking.
A couple of noteworthy components are HippoCampus & Amygdala.
Whereas hippocampus stores long term emotional memory for later recall and reflection , Amygdala acts as the thermometer of feelings.
The rational brain is a later addition and helps in rational thinking and hence known as “New Brain”.This is what separates humans from other animals.
The quirky part is that both “Old & “New brain” work in the opposite direction. A high emotional arousal leading to high limbic activity results in low rational state and vice versa.
Knowing these quirks can help us focus on top performance.