Difference Between Brain and Mind

Before we proceed with the difference between mind and brain, let us discuss these two first.

What is Brain?

Brain is a critical component in our central nervous system located within the skull. It is the nodal point for receiving, organising and distributing information all across the body. It controls the function of most of the organs in our body.

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The brain can be divided into three main parts – cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem.

  1. Cerebrum

Cerebrum comprises of right and left hemisphere, and it is the largest part of the brain. It performs functions like interpretation of hearing, vision and touches as well as controlling learning and emotion, among others.

  1. Cerebellum

Cerebellum is situated right under the cerebrum and coordinates muscle movement, maintenance of balance and posture, among others.

  1. Brainstem

Brainstem connects cerebrum and cerebellum with the spinal cord and performs functions such as controlling body temperature, heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles, digestion etc. 

Do You Know

Human brain, weighing about 3 pounds, is made up of 60% fat and generates close to 23 watts of power while the person is awake. It requires a steady blood supply, and an individual may lose consciousness even in a gap of 8-10 seconds. There are 100 billion neurons present in the brain, and the blood vessels stretch 100,000 miles in length.

What is Mind?

Mind pertains to complex of faculties that are involved in remembering, perceiving, evaluating, considering and deciding among others. Even though mind and brain are used interchangeably in common phrasing, these two means two distinct things. 

Our mind is categorised into three distinct levels – conscious, subconscious, and unconscious.

  1. Conscious

It is the first level of our consciousness and refers to immediate experiences. It deals with the input from our senses, analysis of information, and undertaking decisions based on collated information.  

  1. Subconscious

Subconscious is the next state that holds information which is beneath our immediate awareness. Such information may be archived as memories which do not readily come to the fore.

  1. Unconscious

Unconscious is much deeper than our conscious awareness and is made up of primitive and instinctual desires. It influences our behaviour to a large extent, even though we may not be categorically aware of it.

Difference Between Brain and Mind

Brain

Mind

Brain is a tangible organ in our body.

Mind is intangible. It is related to consciousness.

Blood vessels and nerve cells are present in brain.

Mind does not have blood vessels or nerve cells.

Brain performs definite functions such as coordinating movement, feelings and thoughts. It is centre of the nervous system.

Mind initiates comprehension and perception, and as such relates to the thought process of an individual.

Brain has a definite shape, lodges in the skull, and may suffer from diseases.

Such attributes are not applicable for mind.


Test Your Knowledge 

i. Which of the following amounts to a quick response to the stimuli passing brain?

(a) Receptors.

(b) Knee-jerk.

(c) Voluntary action. 

(d) Reflex action.

ii. What is the outer covering of the brain covered by?

(a) Nerve cells. 

(b) Axons.

(c) Dendrites. 

(d) Pons. 

[Solutions]

i. (d) Reflex action. 

ii. (a) Nerve cells. 

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the difference between mind and brain?

Ans. The main mind and brain difference are that while the latter is a tangible part of the body, the former is consciousness and therefore, intangible.

2. Does mind form a part of brain?

Ans. Mind is held to be not only confined to brain. Brain amounts to a physical substance, whereas mind is the outcome of the release from neurons. To that effect, mind is stated to be the product of brain activity.

3. What is the relationship between mind and brain?

Ans. Brain is considered to be the central processing unit that is instrumental in translation of the content in mind, that is, attitudes, thoughts, beliefs, imagination etc.