The human brain controlsnearly every aspect of the human body ranging from physiological functions to cognitive abilities. Itfunctions by receiving and sending signals via neurons to different parts of the body. The human brain, just like most other mammals, has the same basic structure, but it is better developed than any other mammalian brain.
Table of Contents
- Human Brain
- Brain Diagram
- Human Brain Parts
Read on to explore the human brain structure, diagram, parts of the human brain and the body functions controlled by the human brain.
Also Read: Placebo effect
Find out how some people live with just half a brain.
The Human Brain
On average, an adult brain weighs between 1.0 kg – 1.5 kg. It is mainly composed of neurons – the fundamental unitof the brain and nervous system.Recent estimates have suggested that the brain contains anywhere between 86 billion to 100 billion neurons.
The brain, along with the spinal cord, constitutes the central nervous system. It is responsible for thoughts, interpretation and origin of control for body movements.
Read More: Central Nervous System
The brain diagram given below highlights the different lobes of the human brain.
Where is the Brain located?
The brain is enclosed within the skull, which provides frontal, lateral and dorsal protection. The skull consists of 22 bones, 14 of which form the facial bones and the remaining 8 form the cranial bones. Anatomically, the brain is contained within the cranium and is surrounded by the cerebrospinal fluid.
The Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is a fluid that circulates within the skull and spinal cord, filling up hollow spaces on the surface of the brain.Every day, thespecialised ependymal cells produce around 500mL of cerebrospinal fluid.
The primary function of the CSF is to act as a buffer for the brain, cushioning mechanical shocks and dampening minor jolts. It also provides basic immunological protection to the brain.
Furthermore, CSF provides buoyancy for the brain. i.e., the brain is suspended in a layer of CSF, wherein, the weight of the brain is nearly negated. If the brain is not suspended in CSF, it would be impeded by its weight, consequently cutting off the blood supply in the lower half of the brain. It would lead to the death of neurons in the affected area.
Also Read:Neurons – Nerve Impulses
Parts of Human Brain
Following are the major parts of the human brain:
Forebrain –Largest part of the brain
It is the anterior part of the brain. The forebrain parts include:
Forebrain Function:Controls the reproductive functions, body temperature, emotions, hunger and sleep.
Fact: The largest among the forebrain parts is the cerebrum. It is also the largest part of all vertebrate brains.
Midbrain: Smallest and central part of the brain
The midbrain consists of:
Read more: Tectum and Tegmentum
Hindbrain: The lower part of the brain
Thehindbrain is composed of:
Hindbrain functions: The three regions of the hindbrain coordinates all processes necessary for survival. These induce breathing, heartbeat, sleep, wakefulness and motor learning.
Brain diagram highlighting various parts of the human brain
The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It consists of the cerebral cortex and other subcortical structures. It is composed of two cerebral hemispheres that are joined together by heavy, dense bands of fibrecalled thecorpus callosum. The cerebrum is further divided into four sections or lobes:
Frontal lobe: It is associated with parts of speech, planning, reasoning, problem-solving and movements.
Parietal lobe: Help in movements, the perception of stimuli and orientation.
Occipital lobe: It is related to visual processing.
Temporal lobe: This region is related to perception and recognition of memory, auditory stimuli and speech.
The brain consists of two types of tissues: Grey matter and White matter.
- Grey matter mainly consists of various types of cells, which make up the bulk of the brain.
- White matter is primarily composed of axons, which connect various grey matter areas of the brain with each other.
The exterior portion of the cerebrum is called the cortex or the cerebral mantle. The cortex is extremely convoluted, due to which, it has a large surface area. The cerebrum also includes:
Sensory areas: Toreceive the messages.
Association areas: These areas integrate the incoming sensory information. It also forms a connection between sensory and motor areas.(Video) Human Brain | Parts & Functions | Cerebrum & Cerebellum | Biology | LetsTute
Motor areas: This area is responsible for the action of the voluntary muscles.
The cerebrum is responsible for thinking, intelligence, consciousness and memory. It is also responsible for interpreting touch, hearing and vision.
The thalamus is a small structure, located right above the brain stem responsible for relaying sensory information from thesense organs. It is also responsible for transmitting motor information for movement and coordination. Thalamus is found in thelimbic systemwithin the cerebrum. Thislimbic system is mainlyresponsible for the formation of new memories and storing past experiences.
The hypothalamus is a small and essential part of the brain, located precisely below the thalamus. It is considered the primary region of the brain, as it is involved in the following functions:
- Receives impulses
- Regulates body temperature
- Controls the mood and emotions
- Controls the sense of taste and smell
- Synthesises the body’s essential hormones
- Coordinates the messages from the autonomous nervous system
- Controls appetite, peristalsis, the rateof heartbeat, andblood pressure
- Forms an axis with the pituitary gland which is the main link between the nervous and the endocrine systems
The tectumis a small portion of the brain, specifically thedorsalpart of themidbrain. It serves as a relay centre for the sensory information from the ears to the cerebrum. It also controls the reflex movements of the head, eye and neck muscles. It provides a passage for the different neurons moving in and out of the cerebrum.
Tegmentum is a region within the brainstem. It is a complex structure with various components, which is mainly involved in body movements, sleep, arousal, attention, and different necessary reflexes. It forms the platform for the midbrain and connects with thethalamus, cerebral cortex and the spinal cord.
The cerebellum is the second largest part of the brain, located in the posterior portion of the medulla and pons. The cerebellum and cerebrum are separated by cerebellar tentorium and transverse fissure. Cortex is the outer surface of the cerebellum, and its parallel ridges are called the folia. Apart from this, the cerebellum has the cerebellar peduncles, cerebellar nuclei, anterior and posterior lobes. The cerebellum consists of two hemispheres, the outer grey cortex and the inner white medulla.It is mainly responsible for coordinating and maintaining the body balance during walking, running, riding, swimming, and precision control of the voluntary movements. The main functions ofthe cerebellum include:
- It senses equilibrium.
- Transfers information.
- Coordinates eye movement.
- It enables precision control of the voluntary body movements.
- Predicts the future position of the body during a particular movement.
- Both anterior and posterior lobes are concerned with the skeletal movements.
- The cerebellum is also essential for making fine adjustments to motor actions.
- Coordinates and maintains body balance and posture during walking, running, riding, swimming.
Explore:Differences betweenCerebellum and Cerebrum
The medulla oblongata is a small structure present in the lowest region of the brain. It mainly controls the body’s autonomic functions such as heartbeat, breathing, and digestion. It plays a primary role in connecting the spinal cord, pons and the cerebral cortex. Also, it helps us in maintaining our posture and controlling our reflexes.
The pons is the primary structure of the brain stem present between the midbrain and medulla oblongata. It serves as a relay signalsbetween the lower cerebellum, spinal cord, the midbrain, cerebrum and other higher parts of the brain. The main functions ofthe pons include:
- Controlling sleep cycles.
- Regulating the magnitude and frequency of the respiration.
- Transfers information between the cerebellum and motor cortex.
- Pons is also involved insensations, such as the sense of taste, hearing and balance.
Further Reading:Interesting Facts about the Brain
To explore more about the human brain, parts of the human brain, its functions, brain diagram or any other related concept, please visit BYJU’S Biology
Frequently Asked Questions
1.Explain how the nervous system is classified.
The nervous system in humans can be broadly classified into two types, namely, the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system
2. Describe the Central Nervous System.
The central nervous system primarily consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The system coordinates and controls various aspects of life, ranging from physical attributes (heartbeat, breathing) to mental capabilities (memory, intelligence).
3. Explain the Peripheral Nervous System.
The nerves and ganglia that are present outside the brain and spinal cord contribute to the peripheral nervous system. The primary role of the PNS is to connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body, such as the limbs, skin.
4. How is the brain protected in the body?
The brain is enclosed within the skull, where it is suspended in a layer of fluid called the cerebrospinal fluid. It protects the brain from minor mechanical shocks and jolts. Furthermore, it also serves minor immunological roles and provides the necessary nutrients required by the brain.
5. Briefly explain the parts of the brain.
Anatomically, the brain consists of the following parts:
These areas are: Occipital lobe, Temporal lobe, Parietal lobe, Frontal lobe. Cerebral cortex, Cerebellum, Hypothalamus,Thalamus,Pituitary gland, Pineal gland, Amygdala, Hippocampas and the Mid- brain.What are the 5 parts of the human brain? ›
- cerebrum (say: suh-REE-brum)
- cerebellum (say: sair-uh-BELL-um)
- brain stem.
- pituitary (say: puh-TOO-uh-ter-ee) gland.
- hypothalamus (say: hy-po-THAL-uh-mus)
Each brain hemisphere (parts of the cerebrum) has four sections, called lobes: frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital. Each lobe controls specific functions.What are the parts of the brain and their functions explain? ›
The frontal lobes are responsible for problem solving and judgment and motor function. The parietal lobes manage sensation, handwriting, and body position. The temporal lobes are involved with memory and hearing. The occipital lobes contain the brain's visual processing system.What part of the brain controls memory? ›
Most available evidence suggests that the functions of memory are carried out by the hippocampus and other related structures in the temporal lobe. (The hippocampus and the amygdala, nearby, also form part of the limbic system, a pathway in the brain (more...)Which side of the brain controls memory? ›
Our brains have two sides, or hemispheres. In most people, language skills are in the left side of the brain. The right side controls attention, memory, reasoning, and problem solving.What are the 7 major regions of the brain? ›
The brain is divided into main functional sections, called lobes. These sections or brain lobes are called the Frontal Lobe, Temporal Lobe, Parietal Lobe, Occipital Lobe, the Cerebellum, and the Brain Stem.What are the brain's 3 main parts? ›
The brain can be divided into three basic units: the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain.What are the 6 major sections of the brain? ›
- Frontal Lobe (shown in orange)
- Temporal Lobe (pink)
- Parietal Lobe (blue)
- Occipital Lobe (green)
- Cerebellum (red)
- Brain Stem (yellow)
Happiness activates several areas of the brain, including the right frontal cortex, the precuneus, the left amygdala, and the left insula. This activity involves connections between awareness (frontal cortex and insula) and the “feeling center” (amygdala) of the brain.
Cerebrum, a part of the forebrain, is the main part of the brain that is responsible for vital activities such as thinking, learning, reasoning, intelligence, personality and memory.What controls the brain? ›
The pons and the medulla, along with the midbrain, are often called the brainstem. The brainstem takes in, sends out, and coordinates the brain's messages. It also controls many of the body's automatic functions, like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, swallowing, digestion, and blinking.What part of the brain does dementia affect? ›
This part of the brain eventually becomes damaged in most types of dementia. They are where information is stored and processed, which allows a person to make rational decisions and judgements. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is most closely linked to damage in the frontal lobes.
The frontal lobes are considered our behaviour and emotional control centre and home to our personality. There is no other part of the brain where lesions can cause such a wide variety of symptoms.What part of the brain controls fear? ›
Many of their studies begin with the amygdala, an almond-shaped structure that is considered the hub for fear processing in the brain.Which part of the brain keeps you breathing? ›
The brain stem sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.Which brain is more powerful left or right? ›
Scientists deduced that the left brain was better at language and rhythm, while the right brain was better at emotions and melody. However, this doesn't mean that the two halves are entirely separate. The myth of the totally opposite hemispheres persists for a variety of reasons.What happens if left brain is damaged? ›
Left hemisphere brain damage can lead to:
Trouble reading and writing. Changes in speech. Deficits in planning, organization, and memory as those skills relate to language. Weakness or lack of movement on the right side of the body.
You may find that your left-brain weak child has problems with memorizing lists or tables, has difficulty understanding verbal instructions, struggles with writing, cannot focus on one task for too long, and generally doesn't enjoy school.What part of the brain controls the 5 senses? ›
It figures out the messages you receive from the five senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste. This part of the brain tells you what is part of the body and what is part of the outside world.
Science American explains that the cerebellum – sometimes quaintly known as the “little brain“ – is located at the very back of your skull. The cerebellum controls a number of functions including movement, speech, balance, and posture.What is the most important brain region? ›
Medulla. The lowest part of the brainstem, the medulla is the most vital part of the entire brain and contains important control centers for the heart and lungs.What is brain made of? ›
Brains are made of soft tissue, which includes gray and white matter, containing the nerve cells, non-neuronal cells (which help to maintain neurons and brain health), and small blood vessels. They have a high water content as well as a large amount (nearly 60 percent ) of fat.What is a 9 part of brain? ›
Area 9. Dorsolateral/anterior prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) – This region is the highest cortical area responsible for motor planning, organization, and regulation, and sustaining attention and working memory. The DLPFC plays an important role in: integrating sensory and mnemonic information.What are the 10 brain domains? ›
- Brain structure/Neurology.
- Motor skills.
- Academic achievement.
- Executive function, including impulse control and hyperactivity.
When an angry feeling coincides with aggressive or hostile behavior, it also activates the amygdala, an almond–shaped part of the brain associated with emotions, particularly fear, anxiety, and anger.What side of the brain is emotion? ›
WASHINGTON — Both sides of the brain play a role in processing emotional communication, with the right side stepping in when we focus not on the "what" of an emotional message but rather on how it feels.What part of the brain controls love and hate? ›
The limbic system is a group of interconnected structures located deep within the brain. It's the part of the brain that's responsible for behavioral and emotional responses.What is the 2nd most important part of the brain? ›
The second-largest part of the brain is the cerebellum, which sits beneath the back of the cerebrum. It plays an important role in coordinating movement, posture, and balance.Do we control our thoughts? ›
We are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking that goes on in our minds, and we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts. The vast majority of our thinking efforts goes on subconsciously. Only one or two of these thoughts are likely to breach into consciousness at a time.
Broca's area, located in the left hemisphere, is associated with speech production and articulation. Our ability to articulate ideas, as well as use words accurately in spoken and written language, has been attributed to this crucial area.How do you unlock your brain? ›
- Do exercise on a regular basis.
- Sleep very well at nights.
- Don't get away from social life and a good time.
- Manage your stress.
- Eat nutritiously.
- Train your brain.
White foods, including pasta, cakes, white sugar, white rice and white bread. Consuming these causes a spike in insulin production and sends toxins to the brain. Microwave popcorn contains diacetyl, a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques in the brain.What can trigger dementia? ›
- Infections and immune disorders. ...
- Metabolic problems and endocrine abnormalities. ...
- Nutritional deficiencies. ...
- Medication side effects. ...
- Subdural hematomas. ...
- Brain tumors. ...
- Normal-pressure hydrocephalus.
In its early stages, Alzheimer's disease typically affects short-term memory. 1 For example, this might involve forgetting what you ate for breakfast or repeating yourself in conversation. However, as the disease progresses, people gradually experience more long-term memory loss, also called amnesia.What is the function of 12th brain? ›
In our body, the brain is the central information processing organ of our body and it acts as the command and control system. It is the site for processing of vision, hearing, speech, memory, intelligence, emotions and thoughts. The human brain is well protected inside the skull.What are the 10 functions of the brain? ›
- Thoughts and decisions.
- Memories and emotions.
- Movements (motor function), balance and coordination.
- Perception of various sensations including pain.
- Automatic behavior such as breathing, heart rate, sleep and temperature control.
- Regulation of organ function.
- Speech and language functions.
Cerebrum: is the largest part of the brain and is composed of right and left hemispheres. It performs higher functions like interpreting touch, vision and hearing, as well as speech, reasoning, emotions, learning, and fine control of movement. Cerebellum: is located under the cerebrum.Which part of brain controls involuntary actions? ›
The medulla oblongata is the rod-shaped part of the brain which is seen below the cerebrum, located near the cerebellum of the brain. It controls involuntary actions like heartbeat and breathing.What is the brain made of? ›
Brains are made of soft tissue, which includes gray and white matter, containing the nerve cells, non-neuronal cells (which help to maintain neurons and brain health), and small blood vessels. They have a high water content as well as a large amount (nearly 60 percent ) of fat.
Anatomy of the brain. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain, accounting for 85 percent of the organ's weight. The distinctive, deeply wrinkled outer surface is the cerebral cortex. It's the cerebrum that makes the human brain—and therefore humans—so formidable.What are the 6 pillars of brain health? ›
- Engage Your Brain.
- Stay Socially Engaged.
- Manage Stress.
- Get Restorative Sleep.
- Eat Right.
- Managing blood pressure.
- Keeping healthy cholesterol levels.
- Reducing blood sugar.
- Increasing physical activity.
- Eating a nutritious, balanced diet.
- Losing weight, if needed.
- Not smoking.
- Preventing or treating symptoms of depression.
The brain is arguably the most important organ in the human body. It controls and coordinates actions and reactions, allows us to think and feel, and enables us to have memories and feelings—all the things that make us human.Is the brain a Muscle or an organ? ›
As it turns out, your brain isn't actually a muscle. It's an organ — one that actually plays a huge role in controlling muscles throughout your body. Muscle is made up of muscle tissue, which is muscle cells grouped into elastic bundles that contract together to produce motion and/or force.