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Difference between Brain and Mind

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Brain and Mind

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

What is Brain?

The 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.

How are the Brain and Mind Different?

The brain is the physical organ of the body that is present in the skull inside the head of all animals including insects. This part of the body governs all the activities performed by an organism like a central processing unit in your computers. It consists of tissues and nerve cells that are very complex with different sections dedicated to carrying out different specific functions. And it is connected to all parts of the body through nerve cells and neurons that transfer the external stimuli felt by the body through electrical signals. These electrical signals are in turn transferred by the chemicals present at the end of each nerve cell and their reactions with each other. To conclude, the brain is a tangible organ that commands the muscle tissues in our body to contract and expand for movement. 

The brain is also responsible for experiencing different feelings and depositing these feelings as memories in their designated sections and forming fine fibres as studied in Neurology. But against all this, there is another intricate activity carried out by the brain for the processing of feelings and memories that we gain as we live. This is termed as an experience in general terms. All these experiences collectively develop into a definite identity of a person and are termed the mind. It is not tangible like the brain but creates the thought process and perception ability of a person. 

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

Cerebrum: Cerebrum comprises the 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.

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

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 a 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 mean two distinct things. 

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


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.  


Subconsciousness 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.


Unconsciousness 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.

Brain vs Mind

Brain is the physical organ inside the skull of the animals while the mind is a sense of consciousness that takes place inside the mind. All the memories of an organism are stored by the brain in the form of neuron fibres. Neuron fibres are the physical part of the brain while the function they perform is associated with the general intelligence of an organism.   

Test Your Knowledge 

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


i. (d) Reflex action. 

ii. (a) Nerve cells. 

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Last updated date: 25th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Difference between Brain and Mind

1. What is the difference between mind and brain?

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?

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?

The 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.

4. What are the different parts and characteristics of the brain?

As we learnt above that the control unit for the body of all animals is the brain in their heads. It consists of nerve cells and is differentiated into different segments for the control of different parts of the body. The three main parts are the cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem. The cerebrum is the largest part which is divided into 2 parts called the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. It carries out most of the functions of interpreting signals received from the 5 sensory organs such as the eyes, ear, nose, tongue and skin. The cerebellum coordinates the movement of all muscles in our body to perform activities or balance the posture. It is located under the cerebellum inside the skull. And the brainstem is the connecting part of the spinal cord to the brain. 

5. Which are the three levels of mind?

Various studies of the human mind and behaviour have revealed that unlike all other animals consciousness of human beings exists in three levels. Experts have identified these levels on the basis of having different effects on the overall identity of any individual. These levels are termed conscious, subconscious, and Unconscious. As the name suggests the experiences that we perceive immediately are through at the conscious level of the brain. Anything that we try to understand, remember or recall is also a function of the conscious mind. But there are also some memories that we cannot recall easily but do affect our conscious decisions that are said to be under the purview of the subconscious mind. And finally, there is always some deep awareness and instinct that controls our body without even our decision. This deep level of consciousness is represented by the unconscious mind.

6. What is Psychology?

As it is quite evident that instead of the brain, the mind is the control unit of all the decisions we take and behavior we manifest. And the mind exists by feelings and memories. So many decisions we make are controlled by our minds. It is very important to understand the mind of a person to know and predict certain aspects of an individual. Psychology is the study of this mechanism of the brain. Psychologists try to understand the various driving and deciding factors for the irregularity or inconsistency in the activities of that person.

7. What is neurology?

In medical science, the brain is considered as the physical organ that is a part of the physical structure of the body. It has all the essential mechanisms for the circulation of blood and the nutrition of the cells constituting it. The nerve cells also contain chemicals that function as the transfer channel of electronic signals available from motor cells. This organ is also susceptible to deformities and affected by irregularities due to the unavailability of sufficient nutrition or other essential materials required for its sustenance. All these aspects are studied under the Neurology branch of medical studies.

8. Do I need to learn more about the mind?

All the parts and organs of the body are very important while studying human physiology in Biology. The brain is the controlling unit and is the driver of motor nerves that perform all the voluntary and involuntary actions of the body. These concepts are covered more elaborately in the Biology textbooks for Class 11 and Class 12. Students willing to learn more about the brain can refer to these books. They can also refer to various articles available on the Vedantu website which covers all the topics in detail.

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