The brain, along with the spinal cord, makes up the central nervous system. It is one of the most complex organs in the human body and is responsible for processing sensory data, regulating visceral functions and voluntary movements, etc. It can be said that being the command center of the body, the human brain is responsible to control most of the bodily functions.
The human brain comprises of important parts which function in coordination to control the activities of the human body. Some of the important terms related to the human brain are explained here in an easy and engaging way.
The cerebrum is composed of the left and right hemispheres. It is the largest part of the human brain. It is the uppermost region of the central nervous system. The main functions of the cerebrum include reasoning, learning, memory, emotions, controlling movement and interpreting vision, touch, hearing, speech, etc.
It is located underneath the cerebrum and is smaller than the cerebrum. The main function of the cerebellum is maintaining posture and balance, coordinating muscle movements and other motor control functions. It might also be responsible for certain cognitive functions like language, attention, fear, etc. Check the diagram to know all the parts of the cerebellum.
- Brain Stem
The brainstem is the posterior part of the brain and includes midbrain, pons, and medulla. The brainstem provides the main motor and sensory innervation to the neck and face via the cranial nerves. The brain stem acts as a relay center and connects the cerebrum and cerebellum to the spinal cord. Many of the automated functions like heart rate, breathing, coughing, sneezing, etc. are performed by the brain stem. The location of the midbrain, pons and medulla are given in the diagram below.
- Neurons and Other Cells
There are a huge number of cells in the brain which includes neurons, glial cells, mast cells, etc. Approximately, there are 85-95 billion neuron cells and an equal number of non-neuron cells in the brain.
The neurons make up the neural network from which, information is received and sent at a speed of nearly 200 mph. There are various types of neurons which handle information from sensory parts, glands and muscles. The glial cells are more than the neurons and they provide neurons with nourishment, protection, and structural support. Similarly, all the other cells have different functions in the brain.
- Lobes of the Brain
The human brain is divided into two hemispheres known as the left brain and right brain. The cerebral hemispheres of the brain have sharp fissures which divide the brain into lobes. These lobes have complex relationships between them and they do not function alone. The different lobes are given in the following diagram and their functions are explained below.
- Frontal Lobe:
Responsible for behaviour, judgement, personality, speech (writing and speaking), intelligence, planning, etc.
- Parietal Lobes:
Responsible for sensory feelings (touch, pain), interpreting signals (hearing, vision), visual and spatial perception, etc.
- Occipital Lobes:
Mainly interprets vision i.e. light, movement, colour, etc.
- Temporal Lobes:
Responsible for memory, hearing, organizing and sequencing abilities, language, etc.
These were some of the most important terms that are related to the human brain. These parts function accordingly to maintain most of the body functions efficiently. It is also interesting to note that the entire brain is 60% fat and requires a continuous flow of blood and oxygen to function properly. Two paired arteries supply blood and a capillary supplies oxygen to the brain continuously.
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