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What are the Basics of Brain Anatomy?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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The brain is an organ responsible for a wide range of functions, such as thinking, moving, and experiencing sensory and emotional feelings. The entire brain is not used for every task. When considering brain anatomy, this organ can basically be divided into six main parts. There are four portions called the temporal, frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes, and there are two lower portions called the cerebellum and the brain stem.

Like the bottom portion of a plant, the brain stem extends down from the brain and connects to the spinal cord. This provides a means for nerves to connect from the lower body to the very top. This pathway allows messages to be transmitted back and forth. The brain stem is noted to be responsible for imperative functions such as the regulation of breathing and heart rate.

The cerebellum is the low lying rear portion of the brain. This section is responsible for regulating balance and muscle coordination, allowing a person the ability to move. The effective operation of the cerebellum makes actions such as walking and chewing possible.

If a person's forehead were a cover that could be removed, the first part of the brain anatomy that would be encountered is the frontal lobe. This portion of the brain is believed to be the controller of mental functions such as organizing, solving problems, and setting goals. Since it has also been found that this part of the brain affects functions such as mood and emotions, it is widely held that the frontal lobe is mostly responsible for determining a person's personality. If a person wanted to go more in depth with brain anatomy, the frontal lobe is also commonly divided into two parts, which are the posterior, meaning back, and the anterior, meaning front.

Behind the frontal lobe at the top of the brain lies the parietal lobe. The parietal lobe is commonly divided into left and right sections. This portion of the brain is generally associated with allowing a person to understand what he reads or hears. It is here that sensory information from the rest of the body, such as temperature and taste, are processed as well. The parietal lobe is also responsible for spatial awareness.

A study of brain anatomy would also reveal a temporal lobe near each ear. These two areas of the brain are responsible for the differentiation between sounds and smells. It is also believed that they affect short-term memory. The right side is generally associated with visual memory while the left side is more commonly associated with verbal memory.

The occipital lobe is located in the rear region of the brain. One of its primary responsibilities is to process visual information. If this area suffers trauma, a person is likely to experience a number of visual problems.

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