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What Is Inside Your Brain?
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People often compare the human brain to that of a computer. We all know, however, that such a comparison is not exact, and that our brain performs beyond what any supercomputer can.
What makes the human brain so remarkable and what functions does it serve us? To answer the question, we shall look at this organ and try to familiarize ourselves with its many parts. But first, let us get some of our facts on the human brain straight.
The human brain weighs approximately 2% of our total body weight. Its size is comparative to that of two adult hands clasped together. Despite its size and weight, the brain makes use of a quarter of our body's total energy and oxygen levels. At any given moment, our brain can generate 25W of energy—enough to light a bulb!
Our brain mainly consists of four major parts—the cerebrum, the cerebellum, the limbic system, and the brain stem. Let us go through each major division below.
The cerebrum takes up the biggest space in our human brains. In fact, it is the part that provides most of our brain's functions. The cerebrum consists of four sections called lobes—the occipital lobe, the temporal lobe, the frontal lobe, and the parietal lobe.
The occipital lobe found at the back portion of the cerebral hemisphere is responsible for our sense of sight.
Broca's Area: An area of the brain that controls one's facial neurons, as well as speech and language comprehension.
The temporal lobe is the section responsible for controlling both auditory and visual memories. It consists of areas that also help control some hearing and speech capabilities, language, and behavioral elements.
Wernicke's Area: A portion formed surrounding the auditory cortex that scientists know helps the individual to formulate and understand speech.
The frontal lobe is responsible for elements such as intellect, creative thought, judgment, attention, behavior, problem-solving, muscle movements, abstract thinking, coordinated movements, physical reactions, personality, and smell.
The parietal lobe mainly focuses on comprehension and monitors visual function, reading, language, internal stimuli, sensory comprehension and tactile sensation.
The sensory cortex processes sensory information from the spinal cord and monitors the position and movement of various body parts. It also relays information regarding the sense of touch, including pressure and pain, affecting different areas of the body.
The motor cortex assists the brain in controlling all body movement.
Cerebellum Scientists commonly call this part the ‘little brain.' The cerebellum handles important body functions such as posture, balance, and coordination, enabling us to move properly and maintain our physical structure.
This portion of the brain consists of glands that control our emotions.
Amygdala: it assists the body in responding to emotions, fear, and memories.
Hippocampus: this portion found in the cerebral hemisphere makes possible the conversion of temporary memories into permanent ones and storing them in the brain. It also is responsible for analyzing and remembering spatial relationships, allowing us accuracy in our movements.
Hypothalamus: handles our mood, hunger, thirst, and temperature. It also controls various hormonal processes throughout our body.
Thalamus: processes our body's sensation of pain and monitors other sensations that our body feels.
Scientists often refer to this part as the simplest of all the brain structures. However, its simplicity also serves very important life functions including breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure.
Midbrain: this consists of the tegmentum and the tectum and is responsible for the regulation of body movement, hearing, and vision.
It also contains the cerebral peduncle that allows for voluntary body movement.
Pons: this portion of the hindbrain connects to the cerebellum for movement and posture. It is responsible for the interpretation of information used in motor control and sensory analysis, and controls the level of consciousness that is necessary for us to fall asleep.
Medulla oblongata: this is the vital portion of the brain stem that regulates our breathing and heart rate.
All parts of the brain, as we have seen, are thus interconnected; all play important roles in our bodies. What can we do to ensure that our brains remain fully functional? The crucial determining factor for brain health is what we feed it. If we want it to remain sharp, we need to feed it the vitamins and minerals it needs.
Invest on a good diet and take dietary supplements to augment for the other nutrients you are not able to eat. Learn about superfoods spirulina that contain most of the nutrients the body needs and find ways to include them in your everyday diet. Remember, your brain is not an organ you can afford to have dysfunctional. Eat right, and keep your brain healthy.
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