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Monday, November 2, 2020

Components of the brain and their functions




  • Large portion of brain.
  • Center of conscious thought and higher mental functioning ( intelligence learning, memory ).
Cerebral cortex 

  • Outer coating of cerebrum: gray matter  (nerve cell bodies ). 
  • Contains convolutions ( grooves ) and elevations ( gyri) that increase brains surface area. 
Inner portion of brain

  • White matter
  • Location of billions of connections, due to presence of dendrites and myelinated axons

  • Frontal 
    • Located at front of skull, forehead. 
    • Location of higher mental processes ( intelligence, motivation, mood, aggression, planning ) site for verbal communication and voluntary control of skeletal muscle. 
  • Parietal
    • Between frontal and occipital lobes 
    • Location of skin, taste and muscle sensations; speech center, enables formation of words to express thought and emotions, interprets textures and shapes. 
  • Temporal 
    • Located at sides of skull.
    • Location of sense of smell and auditory interpretation, stores auditory and visual experiences, forms thoughts that precede speech. 
  • Occipital 
    • Located at back of skull.
      • Location of eye movements integrates visual experiences. 

  • Corpus callosum
    • Longitudinal fissure divides brain into right and left halves
    • Connects hemispheres internally
Diencephalon ( interbrain): Located between cerebral hemispheres and brainstem.

  • Thalamus
    • Located within cerebral hemispheres 
    • Central relay point for incoming nerve messages ( switching centre),  consolidates sensory input ( especially extremes and pain), influence mood and body movements, associated with strong emotions. 
  • Hypothalamus 
    • Located below thalamus, at base of cerebrum 
    • Regulates homeostasis, centre for body temperature regulation, hunger, peristalsis, thirst and water balance, sexual response, and sleep-wake cycle, controls heart rate and blood vessel diameter, influences pituitary gland secretions, control muscles of swallowing, urine release, link nervous and endocrine systems. 
  • Limbic system 
    • Consists of hippocampus and reticular formation. 
    • Responding for learning, long term memory, wakefulness, and sleep. 
  • Second largest part of the brain (part of hindbrain) attached to back of brainstem, below curve of cerebrum, connected via midbrain, to spinal cord and motor area of cortex. 
  • Location of involuntary movement, coordination, muscle tone, balance, and equilibrium ( semicircular canals ) coordinates some voluntary muscles. 
  • Midbrain (mesencephalon)
    • Smallest and most private part of brain located atop of brainstem, below thalamus 
    • Connects cerebral hemispheres with spinal cord. Acts as visual and auditory reflex centre, righting reflex located here. 
  • Pons
    • Between cerebrum and medulla 
    • Carries messages between cerebrum and medulla, acts as respiratory center to produce normal breathing patterns. 
  • Medulla (oblongata)
    • Located at floor of skull below midbrain, connects brain to spinal cord. 
    • Vital for life, descending nerve tracts from brain cross here to opposite side, contains centers for many body functions ( cardiac, vasomotor, and respiratory center, swallowing, coughing, and sneezing reflexes )

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