The Brain is described as: “An organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity” (Oxford Dictionaries)
There are 3 main parts to the brain:
- The Cerebrum
- The Cerebellum
- The Brain Stem
The Cerebrum is the anterior and largest part of the brain, consisting of two halves (the left and right hemispheres) that are separated by a groove and which control voluntary movements and coordinate mental actions. The left hemisphere is associated with analytical and mathematical ability, while the right hemisphere is associated with artistic ability and creativity.
The Cerebellum is the portion of the brain which coordinates voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech, resulting in smooth and balanced muscular activity. It is also important for learning motor behaviours. It is located at the back of, and below, the cerebrum and consists of two lateral lobes and a central lobe.
The Brain Stem is the portion of the brain that is continuous with the spinal cord and comprises the medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain, and parts of the hypothalamus. The Brain Stem functions in the control of reflexes and basic life functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure.
The Cerebral Cortex is the outer layer of the human brain that covers the cerebrum and cerebellum. It helps humans to think, reason, and perceive the world around them.
Although the Cerebral Cortex and Cerebrum are two different parts, the Cerebral Cortex does share a few similar functions e.g. the Cerebral Cortex helps with higher functions within the four lobes: Temporal, Parietal, Frontal, and Occipital.
The Functions of the 4 Lobes of the Brain:
- The Frontal Lobe is associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, and problem solving
- The Parietal Lobe is associated with movement, orientation, recognition, perception of stimuli
- The Occipital Lobe is associated with visual processing
- The Temporal Lobe is associated with perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, memory, and speech
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