Understanding Brain Parts And Their Functions

The brain is one of the organs whose function is very vital for humans. The brain consists of several parts with their respective functions. Each part of the brain has a specific task that affects the working system of various organs of the body.

The brain is one of the most complex organs in the human body. This organ is composed of a number of supporting tissues and billions of interconnected nerve cells. The brain is protected by a covering called the meninges and skull bones, and is connected to the spinal cord.

Together with the spinal cord, the brain acts as the body’s control center and composes the central nervous system (CNS). This nervous system then works together with the peripheral nervous system to give humans the ability to carry out various activities, such as walking, talking, breathing, to eating and drinking.

Parts of the brain and their functions

The brain has 3 main parts, namely the cerebrum ( cerebrum ), the cerebellum ( cerebellum ), and the brainstem ( brainstem ). Here is the explanation:

Great brain ( cerebrum )

The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. The cerebrum is divided into 2 parts, namely the right brain and left brain. The right brain hemisphere controls movement on the left side of the body and the left hemisphere controls movement on the right side of the body.

The outer surface of the cerebrum is called the cerebral cortex . This is the area of ​​the brain where nerve cells make connections called synapses. Synapse is a nervous system that controls brain activity.

While the inside of the cerebrum contains sheathed nerve cells (myelin) that play a role in conveying information between the brain and spinal cord. The cerebrum is further divided into 4 parts, namely:

  • The frontal lobe (the front) that controls movement, speech, behavior, memory, emotions, and personality. This part of the brain also plays a role in intellectual functions, such as thought processes, reasoning, problem solving, decision making, and planning.
  • The parietal (upper) lobe controls sensations, such as touch, pressure, pain, and temperature. These lobes also control spatial orientation or understanding of size, shape, and direction.
  • Temporal lobe (side) which controls the senses of hearing, memory, and emotions. The left temporal lobe also plays a role in speech function.
  • The occipital (posterior) lobe that controls the function of vision.

Small brain ( cerebellum )

The cerebellum is located under the cerebrum at the back of the brain, just below the occipital lobe. Just like the cerebrum, the cerebellum also has 2 hemispheres.

The cerebellum is responsible for controlling movement, maintaining balance, and regulating the position and coordination of body movements. This part of the brain also plays a role in controlling fine movements, such as writing and painting.

Brainstem ( brainstem )

The brain stem is a bundle of nervous tissue at the base of the brain. It functions as a transmitting station that connects the cerebrum to the spinal cord, and sends and receives messages between various parts of the body and the brain.

The brain stem consists of 3 main structures, namely the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. The midbrain is the center for regulating eye muscle movement, while the pons is involved in coordinating eye and facial muscle movements, hearing, and balance.

Other Important Parts of the Brain

In addition to the three main structures above, there are other parts of the brain that are no less important, namely:

1. Cerebrospinal fluid 

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear and colorless fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. In addition to protecting the brain and spinal cord, this fluid also functions to carry nutrients through the blood to the brain, and to remove waste products or metabolic waste from the brain.

Cerebrospinal fluid is produced in the ventricles of the brain. The amount of this fluid is controlled by brain tissue.

2. Meninges

Meninges are thin layers or membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal nerves. There are 3 layers of the meninges, namely the dura mater (the thickest outer layer), the arachnoid layer (middle and thin membrane), and the pia mater (inner layer).

3. Corpus Callosum

The corpus callosum is a bundle of nerve fibers found between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. These nerve fibers connect and allow communication between the two halves of the brain.

4. Thalamus

This section is a structure of the midbrain which has 2 lobes (sections). The thalamus acts as a transmitter for almost all the information that comes and goes between the brain and the rest of the nervous system in the body.

5. Hypothalamus

The hypothalamus is a small structure in the middle of the brain, just below the thalamus. Its function is to control body temperature, reproductive system, blood pressure, emotions, appetite, sleep patterns, and hormone production.

6. The pituitary gland (pituitary gland)

The pituitary gland or pituitary is a small organ about the size of a pea located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland produces hormones that function to regulate and stimulate other glands in the body to work. Examples of glands that are regulated by the pituitary are the thyroid and adrenal glands.

The hormones produced by the pituitary gland are prolactin, oxytocin, LH, FSH, TSH, antidiuretic, adrecorticotropin, and  growth hormone.

7. Ventricles

The ventricles are fluid-filled spaces within the brain. There are 4 ventricles of the brain, namely 2 side ventricles in the cerebral hemispheres, in the middle of the brain, and at the back of the brain. The ventricles are connected to each other by a series of tubes. This fluid in the ventricles is called cerebrospinal fluid.

8. Pineal gland

The pineal  gland is a small gland located in the ventricles of the brain. This gland plays a role in the development of the reproductive system and produces the hormone melatonin which affects daily sleep patterns.
However, beyond these benefits, the function of this gland is not fully known and is still being studied further.

9. Cranial nerves

There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves with specific functions in the head and neck area. The first pair of cranial nerves is in the cerebrum, while the other 11 pairs are in the brainstem.
The functions of the cranial nerves include controlling eye movements and facial muscles, influencing the senses of taste and hearing, maintaining body balance, and controlling muscles and the performance of organs in the body.

10. Limbic system

This system plays a role in controlling anger and fear and affects memory.

Because of the complexity and sophisticated function of the brain, until now the ability and function of the brain is not fully known. That is the reason why there is still a lot of research being done to know more about the function of each part of the brain.

To maintain brain health, you are advised to exercise regularly, eat a balanced nutritious diet, train your brain with brain exercises, maintain blood pressure and sugar and cholesterol levels, and avoid smoking and alcoholic beverages.

In addition, you also need to have regular medical check-ups to the doctor  to monitor the function and condition of brain health. This is important so that brain abnormalities can be quickly detected and treated from the start, before causing brain function disorders.

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