The Presumable Brain of a (presumably) fictional character

Cerberus – and its three brains?

Cerberus, for those that are unfamiliar with Greek Mythology, is a three-headed hellhound that guards the gates of the Underworld. Oh and it also has a mane of snakes, a serpent’s tail, and lion’s claws. Other than in Greek Mythology, Cerberus also appears in more modern texts including Paradise Lost and more contemporarily, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. What would be different in Cerberus’s nervous system when compared to that of other dogs?

Well, for one, Cerberus would, presumably, have a spinal cord that branches out into three different cords when the back breaks into the three separate heads. Each branch would connect to one brain of the three-headed hellhound. Communication between the three heads would be imperative. For this reason, Cerberus would most likely have an intricate spinal cord system that stretches from front to back and left to right encompassing the three heads and the length of the beast.

Cerberus, would presumably have to have far more motor connections than the average dog to control the movement of the vast snake nest growing on its mane. Following similar logic, Cerberus’s cerebellum would also be quite large due to the fact that he must control and coordinate his movements very precisely considering the fact that he has three heads and a plethora of snakes around his neck.

Cerberus’s cerebrum has to be bigger than that of the average dog because Cerberus carries out a difficult task; guarding the gates of hell. Assuming Cerberus is aware of this task and carries it out with thought, he must be conscious of himself and consequently, he must have a bigger cerebrum (in each of his brains), but not as big as those of humans because Cerberus is not quite that intelligent or developed.

Cerberus’s olfactory bulbs would be similar to those of dogs, and perhaps even more salient, for he has a fantastic sense of smell that comes in handy when smelling out intruders or assailants. Nevertheless, Cerberus’s olfactory bulbs would be similar to those of regular dogs because the overall olfactory sense is similar.


Don’t get bitten. YikesCerberus!

5 responses to “The Presumable Brain of a (presumably) fictional character”

  1. Carlos Aizenman says:

    Nice! So which brain controls the body? Or is it that the right head and the right half of the middle head control the left part of the body, while the left head and the left hemisphere of the middle head control the right side of the body? Where is the integrative center that processes information from the three heads?

    • Dhruv Mohnot says:

      Well I was envisioning an integrative center being connected to the base of the spinal cord on the middle dog. For the hemisphere question, the left half would control the right half of the middle dog as well as the rightmost dog, while the right half would control the left half of the middle dog as well as the leftmost dog.

  2. Fabiana Vilsan says:

    I really liked the character that you picked and the brain functions that you envisioned for it. I especially liked how you connected the cerberus to a dog but exaggerated certain features!

  3. Elbert Y. Gong says:

    This was very interesting. Does each snake head get to have a brain too? It seems like this animal would have a very tough time with coordination. Also, I like how you modified the olfactory bulbs to make them even more powerful.

    • Dhruv Mohnot says:

      Well, I was assuming that the snake heads just kind of floated around and were not autonomous structures, but rather were controlled by the brain of the entire body. Yes, I think you’re quite right in presuming the difficulty in coordination.

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