Controlling your entire body is a three-pound organ called the brain. Creativity, intelligence, and emotions are some of the things that our brain governs and controls. For its protection, it is enclosed inside a skull. The brain is composed of the Cerebellum, Cerebrum, and brainstem. In addition to that, the brain is provided information via the five senses, including touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. Depending on the situation, it could be many at once. Let us take a closer look at discovering how the brain works and controls the movement of our body as well.
Composed of left and right hemispheres, the Cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and is responsible for high-level functions such as vision, touch, and hearing, etc. Not only that, but it also manages emotions, speech, reasoning, and other subtle movements as well.
Located right underneath the Cerebrum is the Cerebellum. It is responsible for coordinating the movements of your muscles and helps you keep your balance and maintain posture.
The brainstem is a component of the brain that connects the Cerebrum and Cerebellum to the spinal cord. It manages several functions such as body temperature, sleep, and wake, heart rate, breathing, coughing, sneezing, digestion, vomiting, and sleep cycles, etc.
Left brain-Right brain
The Cerebrum is split into two halves: the Left and Right hemispheres. These hemispheres utilize fibers called corpus callosum to help them join and transmit messages/signals from one side to another. Each hemisphere operates and manages the opposite side of your body. Therefore, if a stroke happens to take place in the right hemisphere of the brain, the left leg or arm may become paralyzed or weak.
Although both left and right hemispheres share a lot of similar functions, it does not stand true for every function. Typically, the left hemisphere controls writing, speech, and arithmetic. Whereas, the right hemisphere manages creativity, spatial ability, musical and artistic skills. However, when it comes to language and hand use, the left hemisphere is more dominant in the majority of people.
The Cerebral hemispheres are divided into lobes by distinct fissures. Therefore, each hemisphere consists of four lobes featuring temporal, frontal, occipital, and parietal. These lobes are then further divided into areas that hold the responsibility of performing very specific functions. The lobes of the brain do not work alone. Instead, the lobes form a network in which communication takes place through complex relationships.
- Interprets words and language
- Manages pain, touch, and temperature
- Interprets motor, hearing, memory and sensory signals
- Visual and spatial perception
- Movement of the body
- Emotions, behavior, and personality
- Helps with writing and speaking
- Concentration, self-awareness, and intelligence
Manages and interprets the vision
- Language Understanding
- Organizing and sequencing
As already mentioned that the left hemisphere of the brain is more dominant in the majority of people and therefore controls both speech and language. On the other hand, the right hemisphere helps in interpreting the information received through vision and spatial processing. Many left-handed people may have their speech function situated on the brain’s right side. Considering the circumstances, left-handed people will need special testing to determine where the speech area is located before beginning surgery.
Cortex is the surface of the Cerebrum. It can be identified through its folded appearance similar to that of valleys and hills. Furthermore, the Cortex features around 16 billion neurons that are arranged and organized in specific layers. The Cortex is also identified by its color provided by the bodies of nerve cells and termed as ‘gray matter.’ Then, there are long fibers of the nerves, situated underneath the Cortex, responsible for connecting the brain called white matter.
The folding appearance of the Cortex increases the surface area of the brain. This allows more neurons to fit inside it, which ultimately enables an individual to perform higher functions.
The white matter helps connect the cortex areas. This allows the messages to be communicated from one lobe to another, one side to another, and finally, the deep structures located inside the brain.
Behaviors such as thirst, hunger, sleep, and sexual response are controlled by Hypothalamus. In addition to that, it also manages emotions, blood pressure, body temperature, and hormone secretion.
The Pituitary Gland is also termed as the “master gland.” It utilizes the pituitary stalk to become connected to the brain’s Hypothalamus. The pituitary gland is responsible for controlling the endocrine glands. It controls sexual development and helps promote muscle and bone growth in addition to responding to stress.
Memory is a process of remembering, recalling, and memorizing a certain event or a situation. Our brain can capture and store almost everything within seconds and allows us to recall it even after decades. Therefore, there are different areas in a brain that help it with the memory function.
Short-term memory, as the term suggests itself, stores information for the shortest amount of time, 1-minute at most, and has the space for storing around seven items. The best example of short-term memory is trying to dial a phone number or storing it in your phone book by memorizing after someone has read it out.
The long-term memory feature of the brain is activated when you wish to remember something for a longer period. As compared to the short-term memory, the long-term memory has an unlimited capacity of storage and is not influenced by the duration.
The skill memory automatically stores information and memory related to skills in the Cerebellum, where it is processed as well. It includes information such as tying shoelaces, riding a bike, swimming, etc.
As the brain is a sensitive organ, it needs optimum protection. For this purpose, it is situated inside a skull, which keeps it protected against serious damage. In many cases where people happen to fall, the brain is kept safe by the skull. So the blood you see coming out is basically the damage imposed to the skull and not the brain.
The brain makes use of the spinal cord and 12 pair of cranial nerves to communicate with the body. Amongst these 12 pairs, 10 of them are responsible for performing tasks such as eye movement, hearing, swallowing, taste and facial sensations, etc. Moreover, these nerves also control the movements of the neck, face, tongue muscles, and shoulders.
The nerve cells are present in many shapes and sizes of neurons inside the brain. Through chemical and electrical signals, the neurons can communicate information. Consider it is an electrical system in your house. The network of the wires is such that as soon as you turn the switch on, the light will turn on as well. Similarly, when a neuron happens to be excited, it will transfer its energy to the other neurons situated within the area where it is located.
Considering its size, it is surprising to see what the brain is capable of. It controls the entire body, which is comparatively much bigger in size and weight. The combination of nerves, cells, and fluids make the job of the brain look easy from the outside, whereas in reality, it takes years of study and research for humans to understand it. Therefore, if nothing else, it is definitely a remarkable creation.