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Human Brain Anatomy

What is the Brain?

Last updated date: 24th Mar 2023
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The brain is a mass of nerve tissue located at the front end of an organism. The brain absorbs sensory data and directs motor responses; it is also the learning centre in higher animals. The three-pound organ of the body regulates all body functions and interprets information from the world. Sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing are five senses that provide information to the brain. It assembles the signals in a way that makes sense to us, and it can store the data in our memory. Our thoughts, memory, and speech, the movement of our limbs, and the function of our body's organs are controlled by the brain. 

The central nervous system (CNS) is made up of the brain and spinal cord. Spinal nerves branching from the spinal cord and cranial nerves branching from the brain make up the peripheral nervous system (PNS).

Anatomy of Brain

  • The Frontal Lobe: It is an important part of the brain. The frontal lobe is the brain's largest lobe, located in the front of the head, and is involved in personality traits, decision-making, and movement. Parts of the frontal lobe are frequently involved in recognising smells. Broca's region, which is connected with speech skills, is located in the frontal brain.

  • Parietal Lobe: It is a part of the brain that is responsible for memory. The parietal lobe, located in the middle of the brain, aids in object recognition and spatial relationships (the comparison of one's body to objects around them). The parietal lobe is also involved in pain and touch perception in the body. Wernicke's region, which helps the brain perceive spoken language, is located in the parietal lobe.

  • Occipital Lobe: It is located at the back of the brain and is responsible for vision.

  • Temporal Lobe: It is the part of the brain that deals with time. Short-term memory, speaking, musical rhythm, and some degree of smell identification are all helped by the temporal lobes on the sides of the brain.

Parts of the Brain

The three components of the brain that can be split at a high level are the cerebrum, brainstem, and cerebellum.

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The cerebrum is made up of grey matter (the cerebral cortex) and white matter (front of the brain). It is the brain's main part that regulates temperature and controls and coordinates movement. Other portions of the cerebrum enable speech, judgement, thinking and reasoning, problem-solving, emotions, and learning. Its additional functions include vision, hearing, touch, and other senses.


The cerebellum, also known as the "little brain" is a fist-sized region of the brain positioned behind the ears, above the brainstem and below the temporal and occipital lobes. It has two hemispheres, just like the cerebral cortex. The inner part communicates with the cerebral cortex, while the outer section contains neurons. Its job is to keep posture, balance, and equilibrium by coordinating voluntary muscle movements. The cerebellum's responsibilities include thinking, emotions, and social interaction, as well as its possible participation in addiction, autism, and schizophrenia are being investigated in new studies.

The Brain Stem

The cerebrum is connected to the spinal cord by the brainstem (middle of the brain). The midbrain, pons, and medulla are all part of the brainstem.

  • Midbrain: The midbrain (or mesencephalon) is a complicated structure that contains a variety of neuron clusters, neural pathways, and other structures. These features aid a variety of activities, ranging from hearing and movement to calculating responses and adjusting to changes in the environment. The substantia posterior, a dopamine-rich area damaged by Parkinson's disease and part of the basal ganglia, which controls movement and coordination, is also located in the midbrain.

  • Pons: Four of the 12 cranial nerves originate in the pons, allowing for a variety of functions such as tear production, chewing, blinking, concentrating vision, balance, hearing, and facial expression. The pons is the link between the midbrain and the medulla, and is named from the Latin word for "bridge."

  • Medulla: The medulla is a part where the brain will meet the spinal cord at the bottom of the brainstem. The survival of the medulla is crucial. The medulla controls a wide range of body functions, including heart rate, respiration, blood flow, and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. Sneezing, vomiting, coughing, and swallowing are all reflexive movements produced by the medulla.

Function of Brain Parts

  • The cerebrum occupies the majority of your skull. It helps you remember things, solve problems, think, and feel. It also has the ability to control movement.

  • The cerebellum is located beneath the cerebrum at the back of your head. It is in charge of balance and coordination.

  • The brainstem is present in front of the cerebellum, beneath the cerebrum. It connects the brain and spinal cord, and it regulates automatic functions including breathing, digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Brain Coverings: Meninges

The brain and spinal cord are surrounded by three layers of protective covering called meninges.

  • The dura mater, the outermost layer, is thick and robust. It is made up of two layers: the dura mater's periosteal layer lines the inner dome of the skull, while the meningeal layer lies beneath it. Veins and arteries that feed blood to the brain can travel through the spaces between the layers.

  • The arachnoid mater is a web-like layer of connective tissue that lacks nerves and blood arteries. The cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, is found underneath the arachnoid mater. This fluid surrounds the entire central nervous system, cushioning it and removing pollutants as it circulates.

  • The pia mater is a thin membrane that embraces and follows the curves of the brain's surface. Veins and arteries abound in the pia mater.

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The human brain generally is made up of billions of cells which can be called neurons and the weight of brain is just 1.4 kg (3 pounds). Intelligence, creativity, emotion, and memory - all are controlled by the brain. Synapses are connections between neurons that allow electrical and chemical instructions to pass from one neuron to the other in the brain, a process that supports basic sensory functions and is essential for learning, memory, thinking creation, and other cognitive activities. The brain in lower vertebrates is tubular, resembling an early stage of brain development in higher vertebrates. The hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain are the three different regions of the brain. Despite the fact that the brains of higher vertebrates undergo significant changes throughout embryonic development, these three regions can still be identified. The parts of the brain and its functions psychology PDF can be referred to for a better understanding of the concepts.

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FAQs on Human Brain Anatomy

1. What is a brain?

The brain is a complex organ that controls all of our bodily functions, including thought, memory, feelings, touch, motor skills, sight, respiration, temperature, and appetite. The brain and the spinal cord that extends from it comprise the central nervous system, or CNS. There are three parts of the brain.

2. How does the brain function?

The brain puts the messages together in a way that makes sense to us, and it can store the data in our memory.

3. What is the brain made of?

The grey and white matter of the brain contains nerve cells, non-neuronal cells (which assist in the maintenance of neurons and brain health), and small blood vessels. They have a high water content as well as a significant amount of fat (almost 60%).

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