The brain is the most important part of the human body; only rivaled by the heart in its prominence. It is the central processing system of the body, which controls the all the voluntary and some of the involuntary motions of the body. A brain dead person is as good as a table. It is the complexity of our brain that has helped us evolve and position ourselves as the dominant species on earth. Though you might complain that some other organisms have brains bigger than average humans, know that we aren’t talking about size out here. It is the complexity and superior functioning of the human brain that makes all the difference.
The brain produces electrical signals, which together with the chemical reactions; let the parts of the body communicate. Nerves send these signals throughout the body. The average human brain weighs about 3 pounds. At birth, the human brain weighs less than a pound. As a child grows, the number of cell remains relatively stable, but the cells grow in size and the number of connections increases. The human brain reaches its full size at about 6 years of age and consists of gray matter (40%) and white matter (60%) contained within the skull. Brain cells include neurons and glial cells. The brain has three main parts: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brain stem (medulla). Read on to understand how different parts of the brain perform different functions.
Different Functions Of The Human Brain
The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, temporal and spatial relationships, analyzing nonverbal information and communicating emotions. Meanwhile, the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, while also producing and understanding language. A detailed sectional study of cerebral functions is as follows:
Cerebral Frontal Lobe
Arguably, the most important part of the brain; the frontal lobe controls a person’s behavior, creativity and intellect. This part of the brain is also in charge of the thought process, attentiveness and problem-solving capabilities of the person. Apart from this, the frontal lobe houses the part of the brain which aids in initiating or inhibiting a process, reflecting back on the past or some important development. It also controls the muscle movement and therefore, the co-ordination of movements. The nasal senses, physical reactions and sexual libido are also controlled by this lobe.
Cerebral Occipital Lobe
This is a relatively smaller part of the brain, which controls two very important functions. The first important function is the sense of vision. It is the occipital lobe that controls our perception of images through eyes. Any damage to this part can mean loss of vision. The other important function which cerebral occipital lobecontrols is the understanding of written language. Without this part, we will never be able to read and understand anything. In fact, say thanks to your cerebral occipital lobe, for if it had not been functioning properly, you would not have been able to read and understand this write-up as well!
Cerebral Parietal Lobe
On the upper part of the cerebrum, between the frontal and occipital lobe lies the parietal lobe, which controls the sense of touch. It also controls proprioception, a scientific term used for response to internal stimuli. It aids both the frontal and occipital lobes with control over some sensory combinations and comprehensions, along with few linguistic and visual functions.
Cerebral Temporal Lobe
The final part of the cerebrum is the temporal lobe, which is located below the parietal lobe. This part deals with the overall memories of our brain. It is also this part of our brain, which controls our response to music. Feelings of fear and anxiety are also controlled by the cerebral temporal lobe. Apart from these, the lobe also features the control of some language, speech, behavior and emotions. The most prominent function of this lobe is to provide us with the sense of identity. Also, corpus callosum located in here, controls communication between the left and right side of the brain.
The cerebellum is different from the cerebral hemispheres and is mainly related to the control of balance and posture. Though you might wade it off as unimportant, proper functioning of the cerebellum is quintessential as it controls the functioning of the highly-sensitive and essential cardiac, respiratory, and vasomotor centers.
The Brain Stem or Medulla
The brain stem is a part of the brain that begins in the middle of the head and is connected to the spinal cord. It assists the cerebellum and controls sensory and motor pathways to different body parts. Brain stem comprises of different parts like the hypothalamus and pituitary, which control hormonal functions, growth, physical and sexual maturation, body temperature regulation, our moods and also reflex actions.