The brain anatomy consists of an amazing three-pound organ that controls all functions of the body, interprets information from the outside world, and embodies the essence of the mind and soul. Intelligence, creativity, emotion, and memory are a few of the many things governed by the brain. Protected within the skull, the brain is composed of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem.
The brain receives information through our five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing – often many at one time. It assembles the messages in a way that has meaning for us, and can store that information in our memory. The brain controls our thoughts, memory and speech, movement of the arms and legs, and the function of many organs within our body.
The brain is composed of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain-stem.
Cerebrum: is the largest part of the brain and is composed of right and left hemispheres. It performs higher functions like interpreting touch, vision and hearing, as well as speech, reasoning, emotions, learning, and fine control of movement.
Cerebellum: is located under the cerebrum. Its function is to coordinate muscle movements, maintain posture, and balance.
Brainstem: acts as a relay center connecting the cerebrum and cerebellum to the spinal cord. It performs many automatic functions such as breathing, heart rate, body temperature, wake and sleep cycles, digestion, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and swallowing.
Right-Left: Map of the brain anatomy.
The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres. They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.
Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.
Lobes of the brain anatomy
The cerebral hemispheres have distinct fissures, which divide the brain into lobes. Each hemisphere has 4 lobes: frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital. Each lobe may be divided, once again, into areas that serve very specific functions. It’s important to understand that each lobe of the brain does not function alone.
There are very complex relationships between the lobes of the brain and between the right and left hemispheres.
- Personality, behavior, emotions
- Judgment, planning, problem solving
- Speech: speaking and writing (Broca’s area)
- Body movement (motor strip)
- Intelligence, concentration, self awareness
- Interprets language, words
- Sense of touch, pain, temperature (sensory strip)
- Interprets signals from vision, hearing, motor, sensory and memory
- Spatial and visual perception
- Interprets vision (color, light, movement)
- Understanding language (Wernicke’s area)
- Sequencing and organization
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