Brilliant Brains

The brain is arguably the most interesting organ in the entire human body. When most people think of the brain, they think of a something that looks like a football shaped ball of double bubble chewing gum. But it’s so much MORE  than that!

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrTcXo8ibxUoWkAnpyjzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBxNG1oMmE2BHNlYwNmcC1hdHRyaWIEc2xrA3J1cmwEaXQD/RV=2/RE=1421670845/RO=11/RU=http%3a%2f%2fanewatlantis.com%2f2011%2f12%2fsherlock-holmes-a-game-of-shadows%2fchewing-gum%2f/RK=0/RS=Iw1J_jpX2Sg899IRTArHO1x57zk-

.Since the brain is responsible for performing so many different tasks, it needs to be separated into many different parts and sections. The outside layer of tissues is called the meninges. The Meniges is made up of several layers itself like the Dura Meter(outer layer), Arachnoid layer (middle), and the Pia Mater (inner layer). These serve to help protect the brain from injury and to help hold it in place.

Here is a look at the inside of the brain made out of play-doh.

Here is a look at the inside of the brain made out of play-doh.

Here is a look at the side view of a sample brain. (ironically it does look a little like gum).

Here is a look at the side view of a sample brain. (ironically it does look a little like gum).

Next comes the cerebral hemispheres. The surface of these hemispheres is what makes the brain have “ridges” and “grooves.” Luckily, these ridges and grooves (called gyri and sulci) are the reason that humans have higher order thinking. The cerebrium has 4 major lobes, the frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal. The frontal lobes are responsible for problem solving, judgment, and motor function. The parietal love for managing sensation, handwriting and body position. The temporal is for memory and hearing, and the occipital lobe is the brains visual processing system. Some other specialized areas in the cerebrum are the somatic sensory area (receives impulses from the bodies sensory receptors), primary motor area (sends impulses to skeletal muscles) and broca’s area (involved in the ability to speak).  Inside the cerebral hemispheres lies the diencephalon. The Diencephalon is made up of the thalamus, hypothalamus, and the epithalamus. The epithalamus houses the endocrine gland and forms cerebrospinal fluid, a fluid vital in surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Next comes the hypothalamus, which performs several vital functions for the body, such as regulate body temperature, control water balance and regulate metabolism. On top of the hypothalamus is the Thalamus. The thalamus is the “relay” station for sensory impulses, and transfers these impulses to the correct part of the cortex for localization and interpretation.

Then, there is the brain stem. The brain stem attaches to the spinal cord, and is made up of the midbrain, pons, and the medulla oblongata. The midbrain is responsible for housing the reflex centers for vision and hearing. The pons is responsible for controlling ones breathing. Finally, the medulla oblongata contains control centers for heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, swallowing, and vomiting. Since the medulla oblongata merges with the spinal cord, it is an especially delicate and sensitive place on the body.

Finally, there is the Cerebellum. It provides involuntary coordination of body movements. Most importantly is provides the ability to “learn” body movements through comparator activities.

Sources: Gardner notes

See, way more than a pile of gum.

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