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In order to understand the human condition one must first understand what it is that motivates humans It follows that we must then look to the motivator the brain The human brain works in such a way as to satisfy a series of needs Abraham H Maslows theory of human motivation 1954 explains the sequence by which humans move through levels of concentration so as to best satisfy these needs Maslows pyramid 1954 a five-tiered structure represents a summary of this theory Maslow 1954 postulates that in order for one to focus hisher attention on the ultimate goal at the apex of the pyramid self-actualization one must first fulfill the needs at the subordinate levels At the lowest level of the chart are the physiological needs followed by the need for safety the belongingness and love needs the esteem needs and finally culminating in self-actualization This paper will demonstrate how various brain mechanisms work to satisfy each echelon of needs and further how as all lesser needs are met the individual may refocus hisher concentration to ascend the hierarchy towards self-actualization According to Maslows pyramid the basest of human needs are physiological in particular homeostasis and appetite These necessities must be met before human consciousness can progress to the next level of concentration Maslows theory gains support upon examining the breakdown of how the brain functions Carter 1998 explains that the lateral and ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei are largely responsible for controlling when one feels hungry While the lateral nucleus is responsible for detecting declining blood glucose levels the ventromedial senses rising glucose levels Thus the lateral nucleus signals hunger while the ventromedial signals fullness These nuclei are therefore responsible for making sure that the human body has the proper amount of fuel and nutrients While these functions are not controlled by the conscious mind in cases of extreme hunger the need to sate ones appetite becomes the primary motivator in ones actions Maslow
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