The corpus callosum is a thick band of nerve fibers that divides the cerebral cortex lobes into left and right hemispheres. It connects the left and right sides of the brain allowing for communication between both hemispheres. The corpus callosum transfers motor, sensory, and cognitive information between the brain hemispheres.
Check out the structure and location of components of the brain in this great animation.
The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that functions to make human beings unique. Distinctly human traits including higher thought, language, and human consciousness as well as the ability to think, reason and imagine all originate in the cerebral cortex.
The cerebral cortex is what we see when we look at the brain. It is the outermost portion that can be divided into the four lobes of the brain. Each bump on the surface of the brain is known as a gyrus, while each groove is known as a sulcus.
This lobe is located at the front of the brain and is associated with reasoning, motor skills, higher level cognition, and expressive language. At the back of the frontal lobe, near the central sulcus, lies the motor cortex.
The motor cortex receives information from various lobes of the brain and utilizes this information to carry out body movements. Damage to the frontal lobe can lead to changes in sexual habits, socialization, and attention as well as increased risk-taking.
The parietal lobe is located in the middle section of the brain and is associated with processing tactile sensory information such as pressure, touch, and pain. A portion of the brain known as the somatosensory cortex is located in this lobe and is essential to the processing of the body's senses.
The temporal lobe is located on the bottom section of the brain. This lobe is also the location of the primary auditory cortex, which is important for interpreting sounds and the language we hear.
The hippocampus is also located in the temporal lobe, which is why this portion of the brain is also heavily associated with the formation of memories. Damage to the temporal lobe can lead to problems with memory, speech perception, and language skills.
The occipital lobe is located at the back portion of the brain and is associated with interpreting visual stimuli and information. The primary visual cortex, which receives and interprets information from the retinas of the eyes, is located in the occipital lobe. Damage to this lobe can cause visual problems such as difficulty recognizing objects, an inability to identify colors, and trouble recognizing words.
Meet Your Master - Getting to Know Your Brain
The brain stem is comprised of the midbrain, pons, and medulla.
The midbrain is often considered the smallest region of the brain. It acts as a sort of relay station for auditory and visual information. The midbrain controls many important functions such as the visual and auditory systems as well as eye movement.
Portions of the midbrain called the red nucleus and the substantia nigra are involved in the control of body movement. The darkly pigmented substantia nigra contains a large number of dopamine-producing neurons are located. The degeneration of neurons in the substantia nigra is associated with Parkinson’s disease.
The medulla is located directly above the spinal cord in the lower part of the brain stem and controls many vital autonomic functions such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.
The pons connects the cerebral cortex to the medulla and to the cerebellum and serves a number of important functions including playing a role in several autonomic functions such as stimulating breathing and controlling sleep cycles.
Sometimes referred to as the "Little Brain," the cerebellum lies on top of the pons behind the brain stem. The cerebellum is comprised of small lobes and receives information from the balance system of the inner ear, sensory nerves, and the auditory and visual systems. It is involved in the coordination of movements as well as motor learning.
The cerebellum makes up approximately 10% of the brain's total size, but it accounts for more than 50% of the total number of neurons located in the entire brain. This structure is associated with motor movement and control, but this is not because the motor commands originate here. Instead, the cerebellum serves to modify these signals and make motor movements accurate and useful.
For example, the cerebellum helps control posture, balance, and the coordination of voluntary movements. This allows different muscle groups in the body to act together and produce coordinated fluid movement.
In addition to playing an essential role in motor control, the cerebellum is also important in certain cognitive functions including speech.
Located above the brainstem, the thalamus processes and transmits movement and sensory information.
It is essentially a relay station, taking in sensory information and then passing it on to the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex also sends information to the thalamus, which then sends this information to other systems.
The hypothalamus is a grouping of nuclei that lie along the base of the brain near the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus connects with many other regions of the brain and is responsible for controlling hunger, thirst, emotions, body temperature regulation, and circadian rhythms.
The hypothalamus also controls the pituitary gland by secreting hormones. This gives the hypothalamus a great deal of control over many body functions.
Although there is no totally agreed upon list of the structures that make up the limbic system, four of the main regions include:
These structures form connections between the limbic system and the hypothalamus, thalamus and cerebral cortex. The hippocampus is important in memory and learning, while the limbic system itself is central in the control of emotional responses.
Brain dominance Instructions
At the age of 11, Brooke Smith had the left side of his brain removed. The left hemisphere of the brain is generally considered the locus of detailed, procedural tasks, such as language and reading. Brooke’s story brings up many questions, among them, how did he regain his speech so effectively, and why is he now able to read? The answers have to do with the plasticity of the brain and to something less tangible: the brain’s response to a positive, dedicated support system that never gave up on Brooke.
Provides learning about the components of the nervous system and the methods used for studying the brain through the story of a hemispherectomy patient.
"What would I be like if I had the right side of my brain removed?
Traumatic Brain Injury Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head, the head suddenly and violently hitting an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.
The Sci Show - Your Brain is Plastic
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative brain disease found in people who have experienced repetitive hits to the head.
BAHHHHHH! Did I scare you? What exactly happens when we get scared? How does our brain make our body react? Just what are Neurotransmitters? In this episode of Crash Course Psychology, Hank takes us to the simplest part of the complex system of our brains and nervous systems; The Neuron.
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