How is it possible reptiles have emotions, based on the triune brain theory

Reptiles lack a limbic system and only have the medulla oblongta(really all that is needed for basic survival, since it regulates autopilot behavior and heart beats and stuff.)
But a vast majority says reptiles have emotions, and reptiles do not have a limbic system

fear is an emotion, right?
i managed to scare a gecko yesterday
so yea reptiles feel fear
so they do have emotions, basic ones, but those are still emotions

fear, or reflexes?

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considering reflexes are involuntary, I don’t think so

How do you know it actually felt fear?

it ran away when i chased after it?

Which doesn’t mean fear? As said above, it could just be reflexes, or just an action made from instinct

why would it be reflexes?

isnt fear kind of an instinct though?

Can’t really say much for certain personally, but I will say the triune brain theory has some rough edges to it. Certain behaviors we might call emotional or complex likely have their origins in various components of the brain, and all in all, divergences between mammal and non-mammal brains are not as drastic as one might think. Here’s some further reading, and the “Status of the Model” section would probably interest you:

And I will also say that emotions are ultimately difficult to compare between species because emotions have some degree of subjectivity. Many amphibian pets, like frogs, don’t show the affection or intense social bond more traditional pets like cats or dogs demonstrate and largely “only” get to a point of being comfortable in your presence. It certainly isn’t as endearing as a love letter, but who’s to say that isn’t amphibious love?


from what i’m aware, fear sort of straddles the line between emotion and instinct/reflex. Its one of the oldest emotions in animals.


Seeing this thread again, I’d like to ask how do we know triune brain theory is even correct? As far as I know our understanding of brain function and conciousness is very primitive.