Simple Introduction To Brain. Thinking about the human brain? And how is it so incredible ?
Well, you are able to think about it just because you have one …
Your brain is actually your commander. It tells you everything , controlling your body functions and processing information from the environment.
Forebrain: Cerebrum, Thalamus, and Limbic System
Your brain is divided into different regions , each of it having its own functions .
This is the part of your brain which is doing all the cognitive functions, including memory , perception, language etc. It is the largest part situated at the top.
You can divide it into two hemispheres. The left and the right hemispheres .
These hemispheres are linked by nerve fibers which are called corpus callosum.
Each hemisphere will be further divided into four lobes.
This lobe is responsible for reasoning, decision making , and problem solving. It is at the front working related to your personality also.
Parietal lobe is found at the backside of the frontal lobe being responsible for information which is received from sensory organs like touch, temperature, pain etc.
All of your auditory information adding sound recognition , comprehension is processed by temporal lobe. It also works in formation of your memory , regulation on emotions and visual perception. It is at the sides of the brain .
All of the information that is received from your eyes , the visual information is processed by the occipital lobe. It helps in understanding the stimuli like colors , shapes etc. Its location is at the back of cerebrum .
The outer layer of the cerebrum is known as the cerebral cortex which has a highly folded and convoluted surface . The folds are called gyri, and grooves are called sulci . These folds enhance the surface area which enables more neural connections.
Cerebral cortex has gray and white matters ,
Gray matter consists of the cell bodies of neurons while the white matter has myelinated nerve fibers which keeps different areas of the brain connected.
But what are their functions?
The gray matter integrates and processes information ,
However all the communication between different areas of the brain is done by the white matter .
Have you ever thought about how all the sensory information is processed in your body ?
Thalamus is the small , shaped like an egg structure present which processes all the sensory information.
It is above the brainstream below the cerebral cortex.
All the information from sensory organs like eyes, nose , ears is received by thalamus . It maintains and gives signals to the suitable areas of the cerebral cortex. Further it transmits all the information to the regions of cortex for processing.
The thalamus contains several.nuclei . Each nuclei has a special function and connection to the sensory system .
Lateral geniculate nucleus:
The visual perception like processing of color , motion is done by LGN. It gets visual information from the optic nerve and sends it to the visual cortex .
Medial geniculate nucleus:
All the information from your ears through the auditory nerve is received by MGN .
It further sends it to the auditory cortex in the temporal lobe. It works in processing the sound.
Ventral posterior nucleus:
The information from the skin , muscles and internal organs is received by VPN.
It sends this information to the somatosensory cortex in the parietal lobe.
You feel touch , pain and temperature because of VPN .
Thalamus gets information from different brain regions adding basal ganglia, limbic system and cerebral cortex and then it coordinates the information in these areas.
You feel everything around you , it makes you happy , sad or anything else .
You remember things from your past , and you feel the need to move on . Sometimes you feel motivated and charged.
But how are you able to feel these incredible things around you ?
There is a group of brain structure which are interlinked , they are engaged in emotions , memories and motivation .
The structures includes,
All of your short term memories are converted into long term memories by hippocampus.
It basically works in regulation of your emotions , mainly your fear and aggression. It acknowledges emotional stimuli and generates emotional memories.
Your body temperature, hunger, sleep , thirst and other physiological processes are regulated by hypothalamus.
Thalamus has a very powerful connection with limbic structures and it sends sensory information to the limbic system and cerebral cortex.
You are able to make decisions, process your emotions because of the cingulate gyrus. It helps in maintaining emotional responses.
There is an interlinkage of the limbic system and prefrontal cortex which allows you to make decisions, plan things etc.
Now Let’s Talk About Hypothalamus, Amygdala, and Hippocampus
This is a small structure but has a very crucial role . It maintains the physiological processes and homeostasis.
It is situated at the base of the brain , below the thalamus.
Wondering how is it able to do all this ?
Well , it has nuclei that have different functions .
- Your heart rate , digestion, and blood pressure are all involuntary functions, which are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. The hypothalamus helps in the regulation of the autonomic nervous system.
- Hypothalamus helps in regulating and maintaining the temperature of your body by analyzing changes in external and internal conditions.
- Your hunger, appetite, and the feeling of fullness are regulated by hypothalamus. They have regions which gets signals from the digestive system and it maintains food intake and energy balance.
- Your body needs to stay hydrated to function properly , hypothalamus observes the fluid levels of your body and triggers the feeling of thirst.
- Your sleep wake cycle is maintained by hypothalamus as it gets the signals from eyes and synchronize the internal clock of your body with environment
- Hypothalamus is linked with those parts of brain which are engaged in behavior , emotions etc.
All of your emotions are processed , your learning and memory is maintained by amygdala.
It looks like an almond , small in shape and is found deep in temporal lobes of brain.
There are some main functions ;
- All the fast and unconscious emotions are processed by amygdala. It evaluates the emotional significance of the stimuli coming ,and enables rapid responses.
- All of your fears and the way you respond to them is regulated and controlled by amygdala.
- Your emotional memories are stored and generated by amygdala , it helps in making them so visible to you that you can easily recall them.
- Your facial expressions, body language and social behaviour is acknowledged by amygdala. It understands emotions and responds to it properly.
- There are stress hormones in your body such as cortisol , amygdala activates the release of these hormones and triggers the physiological changes that occur in your body which are linked with fight or flight response
- The amygdala also works in memory and attention processes. It interacts with the areas of brain like hippocampus and prefrontal cortex , these increase the emotional memory retrieval.
Hippocampus is at the medial temporal lobe of brain , one present in each hemisphere.
Its structure is like a seahorse .
It works in memory formation and learning.
It has some important roles.
- It forms memories , helps in conversion of short term memories into long term memories. This process is called memory consolidation.
- Hippocampus works for spatial learning and navigation, forming cognitive maps of surrounding.
- It is engaged in different forms of learning , including declarative learning It integrates the incoming information with the present knowledge .
- It helps in distincting similar but different memories or patterns
- Hippocampus is responsible for the retrieval of memories which are saved in other areas of brain .
- It is a very special area of brain where there is constant formation of neurons throughout your life.
This is called neurogenesis , it works in certain types of learning and maintains mood regulation.
Let’s Conclude For Now
Simple Introduction To Brain. Your behavior is managed and appropriate because of the brain that you have .
Brain is the part of your body which controls you , your actions and reactions , your emotions and what not.
All the physiological processes happening , the internal , external changes and your responses to that is all efficiently done by your brain.