Brain areas and their functions

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The brain is divided into areas which are each responsible for different areas of functioning.

The brain can be divided into three basic units: the forebrain, the midbrain and the hindbrain.

These areas are: Occipital lobe, Temporal lobe, Parietal lobe, Frontal lobe.
Cerebral cortex, Cerebellum, Hypothalamus,Thalamus,Pituitary gland, Pineal gland, Amygdala, Hippocampas and the Mid- brain.

The image below indicates where the areas are.

Occipital lobe:  This is found in the back of the brain.  The area is involved with the brain's ability to recognise objects. It is responsible for our vision.

Temporal lobe: The temporal lobes are found on either side of the brain and just above the ears. The temporal lobes are responsible for hearing, memory, meaning, and language. They also play a role in emotion and learning. The temporal lobes are concerned with interpreting and processing auditory stimuli.

Parietal lobe: The parietal lobes are found behind the frontal lobes, above the temporal lobes, and at the top back of the brain. They are connected with the processing of nerve impulses related to the senses, such as touch, pain, taste, pressure, and temperature. They also have language functions.

Frontal lobe:It is concerned with emotions, reasoning, planning, movement, and parts of speech. It is also involved in purposeful acts such as creativity, judgment, and problem solving, and planning

Cerebral cortex: The cerebral cortex controls your thinking, voluntary movements, language, reasoning, and perception. In higher mammals the cortex looks like it has lots of wrinkles, grooves and bumps.

Cerebellum: controls your movement, balance, posture, and coordination. New research has also linked it to thinking, novelty, and emotions. The limbic system, often referred to as the "emotional brain", is found buried within the cerebrum.

Hypothalamus: controls your body temperature, emotions, hunger, thirst, appetite, digestion and sleep. The hypothalamus is composed of several different areas and is located at the base of the brain. It is only the size of a pea (about 1/300 of the total brain weight), but is responsible for some very important behaviours.

Thalamus: controls your sensory integration and motor integration. Receives sensory information and relays it to the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex also sends information to the thalamus which then transmits this information to other parts of the brain and the brain stem.

Pituitary gland: it controls your hormones and it helps to turn food to energy. Without this gland you could eat but you wouldn't get any energy from the food.

Pineal gland: This part controls your growing and maturing. It is activated by light so if you were born and lived all your life in a place without a trace of light your pineal gland would never start to work.

Amygdala: The amygdala (there are two of them) control your emotions such as regulating when you're happy or mad. Your amygdala is very important. Without it you could win the lottery and feel nothing. You wouldn't be happy.

Hippocampas: Forms and stores your memories (scientists think there are other things unknown about the hippocampas) and is involved in learning. If you didn't have it, you wouldn't be able to remember anything. People with Alzheimer's disease loose the functioning of their hippocampas.

Mid- brain: this section controls your breathing, reflexes, and your swallowing reflexes. Includes the Thalamus, Hippocampus, and Amygdala. Every living thing has to have a mid-brain.

Pons- part of the metencephalon in the hindbrain. It is involved in motor control and sensory analysis... for example, information from the ear first enters the brain in the pons. It has parts that are important for the level of consciousness and for sleep. Some structures within the pons are linked to the cerebellum, thus are involved in movement and posture.

Medulla Oblongata - this structure is the caudal-most part of the brain stem, between the pons and spinal cord. It is responsible for maintaining vital body functions, such as breathing, digestion and heartbeat.

Read more:

The brain


Siphiwo Nkonki

(Health24, August 2011)

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