The Brain is an extremely important organ of the body that is considered the control center of the Nervous System.

Without the brain, or even some portions of the brain – we could not survive.

By far, the brain is the most complex organ of the body.

This complex system that has over 100 billion Neurons connected to each other for pinpoint changes, alterations, detections, reactions, and more.

The billions of brain neurons are then connected through synapses to thousands of other neurons throughout the body.

Electric stimulation is the basis of neural control that is done by several neurotransmitters such as dopamine, seratonin and others.

Hormones are thus produced and often dependent in memory and stimuli as part of the function of the brain.

The brain is found in all vertebrates and in nearly all invertebrates.

Anatomy and General Cells of the Brain

  • Species of animals have a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
  • Interior of the brain:  Consists of an area called Grey Matter, which is darker.
  • White Matter separates the area of the grey matter.
  • Two primary classes of cells in the brain – Neurons and Glial Cells
  • Glial cells have many different types and functions.
  • Neurons are the most important cells of the brain.

 

Components of the Brain

1.)  Medulla 

  • Contains and functions for both sensory and motor functions.
  • Works in conjunction with the Spinal Cord
  • Contains nuclei to allow for sensory and motor function.

2.)  Hypothalamus

  • Smaller region found in the forebrain.
  • It small but important and complex.
  • Many small nuclei with different connections and functions
  • Helps regulate sleep and wake cycles.
  • Helps with eating, drinking, hormone release and other biological functions

3.)  Pons

  • This is found in the brainstem above the medulla
  • Many small nuclei that helps with swallowing, bladder function, sleep control
  • Also controls equilibrium, eye movement, facial expressions, and posture.

human-brain_1001_600x4504.)  Thalamus

  • This is found near the Hypothalmus
  • Many small nuclei that controls communication from one side (hemisphere) of the brain to the other.
  • Also controls eating, drinking, defecation, copulation.

5.)  Cerebellum

  • Regulates or controls the output of other systems inside the brain to make sure precise control is found.
  • Removal of this area of brain causes the person or animal to become hesitant and clumsy

6.)  Hippocampus

  • Found only in mammals
  • Helps consolidate short term memory into long term memory.
  • Humans actually have two hippocampus
  • Part of the Cerebral Cortex

7.)  Basal Ganglia

  • A group of interconnected structures in the brain
  • Some control over motor behavior
  • Some aspect of inhibition.
  • Reward and Punishment can affect this area of the brain.

8.)  Pallium or Cerebral Cortex

  • A layer of gray matter that lies on the forebrain
  • Often called the Cerebral Cortex in mammals and reptiles
  • Controls smell and spatial memory
  • This can dominate the brain.

 

Major Areas of the Brain Involved in Controlling Movement
Area Location Function
Ventral Horn Spinal cord Contains Motor Neurons (MN)that directly activate muscles  
Oculomotor Nuclei Midbrain Contains Motor Neurons (MN)that directly activate the eye muscles
Cerebellum Hindbrain Calibrates precision and timing of movements  
Basal Ganglia Forebrain Action Selection on the basis of motivation
Motor Cortex Frontal lobe Direct cortical activation of spinal motor circuits
Premotor Cortex Frontal lobe Groups elementary movements into coordinated patterns  
Supplementory Motor Area Frontal lobe Sequences movements into temporal patterns  
Prefrontal Cortex Frontal lobe Planning and other executive functions 

 

Blood-Brain Barrier

  • This barrier that allows only blood, oxygen and specific enzymes to pass to the brain.
  • It protects the brain against many toxins.
  • Blood flow to the brain is extremely vital.

 

Cerebrospinal Fluid

  • Circulates in the meninges, the connective tissue that surrounds the brain.
  • It acts to buoy the brain in its cavity and helps as a shock absorber.
  • The brain is amazing at taking input from the senses and incorporating it into a recognizable process.
  • Sensory input includes: vision, touch, auditory, taste, and smell.
  • The brain also receives signals through the nervous system in control and as a responsive to stimuli.
  • The brain, cortex, Cerebellum and ganglia largely control movement.
  • The control of movement is passed through the brain into the Spinal Column and back to the specific area of movement.
  • Fine muscular control is therefore largely dependent on a specific brain activity control.
  • Behavior and Memory is associated with brain mechanics and neuron control.
  • Much of our understanding is somewhat limited.
  • However mental performance and behavior control can be assessed with neurological science.
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