About the Human Brain
The brain is a powerful and vital organ that is essential to
being alive. With that said, it would not hurt to have knowledge of the main
parts of the brain and their functions. Basically, the brain has 3 parts: the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brain
stem. Each of these parts provides different functions for the brain, and we
cannot survive without them.
1. Cerebrum: also called cortex is by far the largest
portion of the brain, and weighs about two pounds. For the record, the entire
brain weighs three pounds. The cerebrum is home to billions and billions of
neurons. These neurons control virtually everything we do. It controls our
movements, thoughts and even our senses. Since the cerebrum has so many functions,
if it’s damaged, there are many different consequences.
The cerebrum consists of four different lobes that control
all of our movements. The four lobes include: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe,
temporal lobe and the occipital lobe. The frontal lobe controls our emotions,
judging and planning skills. The parietal lobe controls our senses such as
taste, temperature and pain. The temporal lobe controls our auditory processes
and hearing. The occipital lobe controls our vision.
Lastly, the cerebrum consists of two layers: the cerebral
cortex, which controls our coordination and personality, and the white matter
of the brain, which allows the brain to communicate.
2. Cerebellum: from Latin “little brain”, the cerebellum is
a two-hemisphere structure located just below the rear part of the cerebrum,
right behind the brain stem. Representing about 11 percent of the brain’s
weight, it is a deeply folded and highly organized structure containing more
neurons than all of the rest of the brain put together. The surface area of the
entire cerebellum is about the same as that of one of the cerebral hemispheres.
The cerebellum is the second largest part of the brain, and
it plays a significant role for our motor
skills. It is located at the base of the brain, and damage to it can
lead to decline in your motor skills. Besides motor control, the cerebellum has
other different functions. One function that it has is to maintain our balance
and posture. Another major function of the cerebellum is that it helps control
the timing and force of various muscles. Motor learning is another function of
the cerebellum, and it has the biggest impact on skills that require trial and
error. Even though it is mostly associated with motor control, the cerebellum
has some control of our cognitive functions, such as language.
3. Brain Stem: The brainstem is the smallest part of the
brain, sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum, and it connects
the cerebrum to the spinal cord. Parts of the brainstem include: the midbrain,
medulla oblongata and the pons.
The brain stem is the oldest and deepest area of the brain.
It is often referred to as the reptilian brain because it resembles the entire
brain of a reptile.
Even though the brainstem is small, it controls many
important functions in our bodies. Some functions of the brainstem include:
breathing, arousal, awareness, blood pressure, heart rate and digestion. It
also controls our sleep patterns, body temperature, heart rhythms and even our
hunger and thirst. In addition, it regulates the central nervous system.
Lastly, the brainstem is where information is sent between the cerebrum and
Learn more about Brain Parts and What They Do.