Understanding Your Brain: Brain Fundamentals

Understanding Your Brain: Brain Fundamentals

Understanding Your Brain: Brain Fundamentals


Brain Basics: Know Your Brain colored sectioned brain (no labels)

The brain is by far the most intricate organ in the human body. It is a three-pound organ that serves as the center of our intelligence and is also the translator of the sensory system, as well as the main driver of bodily movement and the controller of our behavior. It is encased in its bony shell and surrounded by a protecting fluid. The brain is at the root of all the traits which define us as human beings. Brains are the most precious piece of human anatomy.

This fact sheet provides an overview of human brains. It will help you learn how a healthy brain operates, how you can keep it well-maintained, and also what happens when your brain becomes damaged or malfunctioning.


Structure of Our Brain

Colored graphic of brain highlighting forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain sections

The brain functions as an expert group. Every part of the brain is connected, and each comes with its responsibilities. The brain can be classified into three fundamental parts: the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain.

Hindbrain: The hindbrain is comprised of the upper portion of the spinal cord, the brain stem, and the wrinkled tissues known as the cerebellum.

The hindbrain regulates vital body functions like respiration and heart rate.
The cerebellum regulates movements and plays a role in rote learning. If you perform a piano exercise or strike a tennis ball, you are activating your cerebellum.


Graphic of Cerebrum and Cerebellum parts of the brain.

If people look at pictures of their brain, it’s typically the cerebrum they see. The cerebrum lies in the highest part of the brain, the wrinkled portion, and it is the main source of cognitive actions. It stores your memory, lets you think, and allows you to visualize and consider. It helps you identify your friends, read books, and even play games.

The cerebrum splits into two parts (hemispheres) via a deep fissure. Even though the hemispheres are split between the two hemispheres of the brain, they connect via extensive nerve fibers located in the middle of the fissure.

While the two hemispheres appear to reflect the other, they’re distinct. As an example, the ability to create words appears to be primarily located within the left hemisphere; however, the right hemisphere is believed to have control over a variety of abstract capabilities.


The Cerebral Cortex – The Thinking Hub

On the outside of the cerebrum and the cerebellum, there is an essential layer of tissue that is the size of a pile of two to three dimes. The cortex is also known as the brain and comes because it is the Latin term bark. The majority of processing of information in the brain is done within the cortex of cerebral nerves. When we talk about “gray matter” in the brain, we’re speaking about the tiniest layer of rind. The cortex is gray as neurons in this region aren’t insulated enough to make many other areas that make up the brain appear clear. The brain’s folds increase the area of its surface and increase the amount of gray matter, as well as the amount of information processed.


The Geography of Brain: Mapping Mental Territories

Brain graphic labeled

 

Each hemisphere of the cerebral cortex is divided into lobes or sections each one of which is specialized in a specific area. To better understand each lobe and the specifics of its function, we’ll explore these cerebral hemispheres.


Frontal lobes: The Command Center

Frontal lobe of brain

Two forehead lobes are located just in front of the forehead. When you make plans and imagine the future or employ reasoned arguments These two lobes perform most part of your work. One way that the frontal lobes appear to accomplish these tasks is through acting as short-term storage locations that allow one idea to be stored as other ideas are being considered.


Motor cortex: Movement Control

Motor cortex region of brain

In the rear portion of every frontal lobe, there is the motor cortex. It helps to organize and manage the execution of voluntary movement that is, consciously, for example, such as arm movement or throwing an object.


Parietal lobes: Sensing and Perception

 

Parietal lobes of brain

Suppose you are enjoying a great dinner–the smell, flavor, and texture of the food – two areas behind the front lobes, referred to as “the parietal lobes, are working. Arithmetic and reading are both roles that are part of the arsenal of every parietal lobe.


Somatosensory cortex: Touch and Feel

 

Somatosensory cortex of brain

The frontal parts of these lobes are located in front of the motor regions, and the motor areas are known as the sensory cortex. The areas are able to receive information regarding the temperature, taste, and movements of other parts of the body.


Occipital lobes: Visual Processing

 

Occipital lobes of brain

When you read the images and words that are in this article, you will notice that two brain regions at the rear of your brain work. The lobes, known as the occipital lobes, are responsible for processing images that come that are viewed by the eyes and connect the information to images in the memory. The occipital lobes are damaged and could cause blindness.


Temporal lobes: Memory and Sound

Temportal lobes of brain

The final lobes of our journey through the cerebral hemispheres are the temporal areas that are located at the front of the visual regions and sit beneath the frontal and parietal lobes. No matter what you love about symphonies or rock, your brain is responding to the activities of these regions. On top of each temporal lobe lies an area that receives information through the ears. The lower part of every temporal lobe is a key part of creating and storing memories, which includes those that are associated with music. The other parts of the area are believed to incorporate sensory experiences, memories, and sound, as well as sight and even touch.


The Inner Brain Secrets

In the deep brain and hidden from sight, some structures act as guardians that connect the spinal cord as well as the cerebral hemispheres. These structures do not only control the state of our emotions. However, they also alter our reactions and perceptions based on our state of mind and permit us to perform actions in a non-conscious manner. As with the lobes within the cerebral hemispheres, the structures listed below are together in pairs. They are duplicated on the other side of the cerebral cortex.

Know Your Brain Inner brain labeled graphic

The hypothalamus is about the dimension of a pearl and is responsible for a variety of vital activities. It gets you awoken early in the morning, and it also helps to increase the flow of adrenaline when you take a test or an interview. The hypothalamus can also be an essential center of emotion and controls the chemical signals that cause you to feel euphoric and angry or sad. Near the hypothalamus, you’ll find the thalamus. It is the major clearinghouse of information that flows through and out of the spinal cord and cerebrum.

An arching nerve cell runs from the hypothalamus to the thalamus and then up to the Hippocampus. The tiny nub functions as a memory indexer, transferring memories to the correct region in the cerebral hemisphere for longer-term storage and then returning them as needed. The basal Ganglia (not depicted) are a group composed of nerve cells around the thalamus. They are the ones responsible for creating and integrating movement. Parkinson’s disease, which results in rigidity, tremors, and stiff, unsteady walking, is a condition of nerve cells that leads to the basal ganglia.


The Neuron: Brain’s Building Block

The brain, as well as the rest part of the nervous system, is made up of various types of cells. The most important functioning unit is a particular cell known as the neuron. The sensations, emotions, and thoughts, as well as memories and even emotions, result from the transmission of messages that travel through neurons. The neuron is composed of three components: The cell bodydendrites, and the Axon.

Know Your Brain graphic of neuron with labels

 

 

The Cell body contains the nucleus. It is where the majority of the substances that a neuron requires to function and function are made. Dendrites grow out of cells like branches on a tree. They receive signals from different nerve cells. Signals are then transmitted from dendrites throughout the body and can then travel from the body of the cell down an axon to another nerve, a muscle cell, or even cells inside an organ.

A variety of support cells typically covers the neuron. Certain types of cells wrap around the axon and form a tightly insulating myelin sheath. Myelin is a fatty molecule that provides insulation to the axon and assists in ensuring that the nerve signal travels more quickly and longer. Axons could be quite small, for instance, ones that transmit signals from one cell within the cortex to a cell smaller than the width of a hair far away. Axons can also be extremely lengthy, for instance, the ones that relay signals from the brain down through the spinal cord.


The Synapse: Where Signals Connect

 

Know Your Brain synapse graphic

Scientists have learned a quantity about neurons by studying the synapse. It is where the signal is transferred from a neuron to a different cell. Once the signal is at the point where the axon ends, it triggers the release of small Vesicles. These cells release chemicals referred to as neurotransmitters that enter the synapse. The neurotransmitters traverse the synapse before attaching to the receptors of the adjacent cell. They can alter the characteristics of the receiving cell. When the cell receiving it is also a neuron signal, it may continue the transmission to the following cell.

 


Some Key Neurotransmitters: The Brain’s Messengers

 

Neurotransmitters are the chemicals brain cells utilize to communicate with each other. Certain neurotransmitters can make cells much more energetic (called excitatory), While others inhibit or reduce the activity of cells (called inhibitory).

  • Acetylcholine can be described as a neurotransmitter that stimulates because it is the main reason cells become excitable. It regulates the contraction of muscles and triggers glands to release hormones. Alzheimer’s disease, which affects the initial memory development, is linked with the deficiency of Acetylcholine.
  • Glutamate can be one of the major neurotransmitters that stimulate. A high concentration of glutamate could destroy or harm neurons. It has been associated with various diseases like Parkinson’s diseasestroke seizures, as well as an increase in the sensitivity to discomfort.
  • GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter inhibitor that regulates the activity of muscles and is a vital component in the vision system. The drugs that boost GABA levels in the brain can be used for treating epileptic seizures as well as the tremors of patients who have Huntington’s disease.
  • Serotonin can be described as a neurotransmitter that enlarges blood vessels and induces sleep. It also plays a role in temperature control. Low serotonin levels could result in depression and sleep issues. Serotonin levels that are too high may cause seizures.
  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that inhibits which is responsible for mood and controlling complex movements. A decrease in dopamine’s activity within certain areas of the brain causes the muscle rigidity that is characteristic of Parkinson’s illness. The majority of the medications prescribed to combat behavioral problems work by changing the activity of dopamine within the brain.

 

 

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