The brain serves as the body and nervous system’s control center. It comprises several regions, each with a distinct structure and function. You have to know all about the functions of the human brain. It handles controlling all the vital functions of the body and allows us to think and remember. Also, it is the center of emotional perception.
Thus it has a tremendous impact on everyone’s life. The brain’s position is in the front and top of the cranial cavity and is present in all vertebrae. In the cranial cavity, the brain floats in a clear fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. It gives it both physical protection and immunity. It consists of two different halves, united by the so-called trunk. In medicine, doctors call them hemispheres.
Moreover, medicine divides the brain into four main parts. We will talk about them in more detail later. So, our article will tell you more about the brain’s anatomy and functions. Also, you can thoroughly look at the diagram of the human brain.
What is the Brain?
The brain is the main organ of the nervous system. It handles controlling and coordinating all bodily functions. It is a complex structure. The brain is inside the skull, so the bones of the skull protect it securely. The meninges and cerebrospinal fluid perform the same function. The brain handles:
- receiving and processing information from the senses;
- regulating and coordinating movements;
- control of behavior and emotions;
- communication between different parts of the body.
The brain anatomy consists of:
- billions of nerve cells called neurons;
- supporting cells we know as glia. It is an essential part of the brain, and it regulates its function.
The brain comprises several regions, each with distinct structures and functions. These regions include the cerebral cortex, brainstem, cerebellum, and limbic system. The brain is also divided into two hemispheres.
Each of them manages to control the opposite side of the body and has unique functions. Although they work together to allow complex behaviors and cognitive abilities.
One of the most extensive blood supply systems supports your brain. With each heartbeat, arteries deliver about 20 to 25 percent of the blood to your brain.
Billions of cells use about 20 percent of the oxygen and nutrients delivered there by your blood. During intense thinking, your brain can consume up to 50 percent of the nutrients. Here you can see the diagram of a human brain.
Despite decades of research, the brain remains one of the human body’s most complex organs. Advances in neuroscience continue to shed light on the brain’s complex workings. The ultimate goal is to develop better treatments for neurological and mental disorders.
Main Parts of the Brain and Their Function
The brain is a complex and intricate organ. It is in charge of controlling and coordinating our thoughts, emotions, and functions. The main parts of the brain include the:
- cerebral cortex. It is the outermost layer of the brain. So it manages many of the brain’s higher-level functions such as:
- executive function.
- cerebellum. Scientists found it beneath the cerebral cortex. Also, it works with motor control, balance, and coordination.
- limbic system. It is a group of brain structures involved in emotions, memory, and motivation.
- basal ganglia. You can see it deep within the brain. It takes part in the control of movement. Also, neurological disorders can affect this part.
- brainstem. You can find it at the base of the brain centers. It primarily controls many basic functions, such as:
- blood pressure.
Each has its unique structure and function. Understanding the main parts of the brain and their functions is essential for us. So doctors can develop treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Read below in more detail about all these parts.
The cerebellum is the center of motor learning and memory. It can be observed in the cerebellum beneath the cerebral cortex. It is where movement coordination, correction, regulation, and automatization take place.
It is vital for brain anatomy. The cerebellum receives information from all the centers. Because they are all connected in one way or another with our movements:
- the vestibular apparatus;
- muscular skin receptors;
- the basal ganglia;
- the brain stem;
- the spinal cord.
It receives information from sensory systems, the spinal cord, and other parts. Then It uses it to control and fine-tune movements. By the way, we can walk a tightrope and write in calligraphic only because of the cerebellum. As it automates these complex movements.
The cerebral cortex has four lobes with unique functions of the human brain:
- the frontal lobe is essential in decision-making, planning, and problem-solving;
- the parietal lobe handles processing sensory information;
- the temporal lobe takes part in hearing and memory;
- the occipital lobe manages vision.
The brainstem contains the central nuclei of the cranial nerves and controls:
- eye movements;
- muscle movements;
- facial sensations;
All motor and sensory pathways pass through the brainstem. Brainstem dysfunction is commonly associated with:
The limbic system is a group of brain structures. It takes part in emotions, memory, and motivation. We consider it to be one of the most significant parts of the brain and for its function.
The amygdala handles processing emotional information and fear. While the hippocampus plays a crucial role in forming and retrieving long-term memories. The limbic system includes:
- cingulate gyrus;
- mammillary bodies;
- olfactory bulb.
The limbic system also consists of the hypothalamus. It regulates many of the body’s basic functions, such as hunger, thirst, and temperature. The amygdala handles processing emotional information and fear.
The hippocampus plays a crucial role in the formation and retrieval of memories. It significantly regulates our internal organs, including emotional control, memory, sleep, and wakefulness.
The basal ganglia are a group of structures located deep in the brain. And they are involved in movement control. You have seen it in the diagram of a human brain. Basal ganglia are pair formations and consist of gray matter nuclei.
Layers of white matter separate them. These are the fibers of the inner and outer capsules of the brain. The basal ganglia consist of five pairs of nuclei:
- caudate nucleus;
- globus pallidus;
- subthalamic nucleus;
- substantia nigra.
They receive information from the cerebral cortex to plan and execute movements. Diseases of the basal ganglia can cause disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.
Lobes of the Brain
The lobes of the brain, located in the cerebral cortex, play a significant role in the functioning. Each of these brain centers manages a specific set of functions.
They work together to create a seamless experience of perception, thought, and action. The four main lobes of the brain are:
- frontal lobe;
- parietal lobe;
- temporal lobe;
- occipital lobe.
While each lobe has its unique functions, they are all interconnected. Damage to one lobe can impact the functioning of others.
They are also the site of many inhibitory functions. The frontal lobes can be conventionally called the command center of the brain. Here some centers are not so much responsible for separate actions. But they rather provide such qualities as:
- independence and initiative of the person;
- ability to critical self-assessment.
Read on for a more detailed description of the human brain functions:
The frontal lobe controls extra functions specific to humans. These are often referred to as organizing functions. So they include:
- the ability to make complex decisions;
- the ability to find a way out of problems.
The large frontal lobe is important for sending signals to the body’s muscles. It orders them to move when necessary. The frontal lobe is in touch with the limbic system. And it controls human behavior in various situations.
The parietal lobe has two main functions for the brain anatomy:
- First, it processes all tactile and pain information here;
- Second, it’s related to visual data analysis. So it helps us understand what we see.
The brain stores a map of the body’s surface in this lobe. Thus, information about every touch comes into this area for processing.
The temporal lobe processes information from the brain through the auditory organs. And along with the occipital lobe, it helps determine what we see. This part of the brain connects to memory, and you can read about its function:
- the right lobe usually works with visual information;
- the left lobe with verbal information.
Finally, the left temporal lobe converts speech sounds into words. And we understand what is being said to us.
The occipital lobe, located at the back of the brain, processes incoming visual information. It receives information from the eyes and processes it to create visual images.
What is the Difference Between the Left and Right Brain Hemispheres?
The human brain has two distinct hemispheres: the left and the right. Both hemispheres work together to support a variety of cognitive processes. The brain centers are also responsible for different functions. We often associate the left hemisphere with:
- logical and analytical thinking;
- language processing;
- mathematical abilities.
This hemisphere is dominant in most people for language and logical thinking tasks. In contrast, the right hemisphere is often associated with:
- spatial awareness;
- facial recognition.
The right hemisphere is important for understanding the emotional content of language. It helps with recognizing emotions in others and oneself and spatial relationships. Recent research has suggested both hemispheres play a role in different types of attention.
But the left hemisphere is more responsible for focused attention. In contrast, the right hemisphere is more involved in broader, diffuse attention for the brain anatomy.
But it’s important to note that the left and right hemispheres work together in complex ways. And strict hemispheric dominance is not always observed.
Brain Anatomy Conditions
There are a variety of brain conditions that can impact an individual’s life in significant ways. Some of the most common brain conditions include:
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that results in:
- impaired memory;
- deterioration in thinking and speech skills.
This eventually leads to an inability to perform everyday tasks.
- Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement and coordination.
- Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the brain anatomy. It leads to a wide range of symptoms, such as:
- muscle weakness;
- difficulty coordinating.
- Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures. In contrast, traumatic brain injury is caused by a blow or jolt to the head, leading to a wide range of symptoms, such as headaches, confusion, and memory loss.
- Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. So it leads to a wide range of symptoms, such as paralysis and speech difficulties.
These conditions can significantly impact an individual’s life, and early detection and treatment are crucial. So you have to know about all things that play an important role in the human brain functions.
While some conditions are incurable, treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Research into the causes and treatments of brain conditions is ongoing.
And medical professionals are continually working to develop new therapies and interventions to help those affected by these conditions.
A Word from Lone Star Clinic Neurologists
The brain is a very complex system, so you need to have enough competence to study it. It is exactly what we can say about our professional doctors with years of experience.
Is the brain a muscle?
We often hear that the brain, like muscles, must be exercised not to atrophy. Despite this, it is important to remember that it is not a muscle. This organ is not made up of myocytes but millions of neurons linked together by axons and dendrites.
What is the brain’s function?
Brain function processes sensory information, controls the movements and functioning of human body organs, and is responsible for positive and negative emotions and higher mental functions such as thinking, memory, and speech.
How much does the brain weigh?
As a rule, the brain has an average weight of 1.5 kilograms. Volume depends primarily on body size and gender. However, there is no direct correlation between brain weight and human intelligence.
What do parts of the brain control?
Some of the major areas of the brain and their functions include the cerebral cortex. It handles many high-level functions, such as decision-making and perception. The cerebellum controls motor coordination and balance. The brain stem regulates vital bodily functions such as heartbeat and breathing. The limbic system takes part in regulating emotions and memory.