Parts of the Brain; Function
Most people believe that it is better to follow the heart than to listen to the brain. Though they refer to the heart as an organ of feelings and the brain as an organ of conscience that helps distinguish right from wrong but the truth is the heart is just a pumping organ and the brain does all the work, the feeling, thinking, and making of decisions. This article will discuss further the different parts of the brain and their function: How does the brain work?
The Human Brain: How does the brain work?
The brain is the center of the human nervous system. The average size of an adult brain is 5.5 inches in width, 3.6 inches in height, and 6.5 in inches length. The human brain is composed of 78% water, 12% lipids, and the other 10% consists of protein, carbohydrates, insoluble salts, and soluble organics. The human brain performs a number of tasks of coordination, control, and regulation.
• The brain controls the body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.
• It accepts all sorts of information from each of the different senses
• It controls a human body’s physical motion.
• It’s responsible for dreaming, thinking, decision making, reasoning, and feeling of emotions.
Parts of the Brain and their Function
The human brain is a very complex organ. The brain has three main parts: the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain.
This part of the brain is located at the area of our forehead. The forebrain is responsible for the different feelings of emotions, organizing, planning, memory, reasoning, speech, movement, visual processing, and others. It simply means that the forebrain is responsible for our imaginative abilities, judgments, creativity, and opinions. The forebrain is then again divided into three major parts: the cerebrum, thalamus, and hypothalamus. They are all parts of the limbic system.
The cerebrum or sometimes called cortex is the largest part of the brain. The cerebrum is the one responsible for the different thoughts and actions. It consists of two equal halves called the left and right hemispheres. They are connected through a corpus collosum. The right hemisphere deals with our creativity part while the left deals with logical thinking.
The Cerebrum consists of four different lobes with its own different functions.
o Frontal Lobe – It deals with emotions, reasoning, problem solving, planning, speech and movements.
o Parietal Lobe – This controls function of recognition, orientation, perception of stimuli, and movement.
o Occipital Lobe – It deals with the visual processing.
o Temporal Lobe – It deals in recognizing auditory stimuli, perception, speech and memory.
The thalamus is located at the uppermost part of the forebrain. All sensory information gathered will be sent to the cortex via neurons.
The hypothalamus is located central to thalamus. It deals with functions like thirst, hunger, homeostasis, pituitary glands, and control of the autonomic nervous system.
The Limbic System
The limbic system is found inside the cerebrum and sometimes it is referred to as the “emotional brain” for it controls the human’s different emotions and memories. The limbic system consists of the thalamus, hypothalamus, and amygdala. Amygdala is an almond shape nucleus that helps process memory and emotional reactions.
The midbrain or also known as mesencephalon is part of the brain that is located in the center of the brain or behind the frontal lobes. Its main function is dealing with hearing, vision, and eye and body movements. The midbrain is divided into three parts: the tectum, tegmentum, and cerebral peduncles.
The tectum is located in the dorsal part of the midbrain. It controls the different auditory and visual reflexes.
The tegmentum is located in the area within the brain stem and forms the base of the midbrain. It controls different motor functions, and regulates awareness, attention, and some autonomic functions.
The cerebral peduncle is an oval shaped mass of nerve fibers where the central portion of the midbrain is located. It controls motor information between the body and the brain, or simply acts as an information exchange center.
The hindbrain is located at the posterior part of the human brain. It is mainly composed of three different parts: cerebellum, pons and medulla oblongata.
The cerebellum or sometimes known as “the little brain” consists of two halves similar to the cerebrum. It is located just below the cerebrum and it consists half of all the neurons available in the human brain. Its size is 1/8 the size of the cerebrum. Though small, it is responsible for the different motor control functions like balancing and moving around, coordination, and sensory perception.
The pons is located at the brain stem. The pons contains nuclei responsible for relaying signal from the forebrain to the cerebellum. The nuclei are also responsible of dealing with respiration, sleep, bladder control, swallowing, hearing, tasting, equilibrium, eye movement, facial sensation and expressions, and posture.
Medulla oblongata controls the different autonomic functions like breathing, swallowing, digestion, sneezing, and heart and blood vessel basic functions. Motor sensory neurons travel through the medulla from the midbrain to the forebrain. It is said that the pons, medulla and the midbrain forms the brain stem. The medulla oblongata helps relay messages from the brain to the spinal cord.
The brain stem is part of the hindbrain that consists of the midbrain, pons, and the medulla and it connects the brain to the spinal cord. The brain stem controls functions like blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. The brain stem plays a huge role in sustaining bodily functions. Damage to it can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening disorders.
Mental or Brain Disorders
The parts of the brain and their functions when damaged can cause serious and complicated consequences. Some mental illness or disorders are schizophrenia, panic or anxiety disorders, obsessive thinking disorder, bipolar disorder, and many more with relation to the mind disorders. Most of these mental disorders can be treated by the help of a psychologist but mostly require life-long treatments. The brain is an important part of the human nervous system. Everything we do leads to the brain, it is important to take care of it. It is hoped that this article was able to answer your questions about the different parts of the brain and their function: how does the brain work.