The brain is one of the essential parts of your body! Without it, you would not be able to read this article, jump rope, or even remember your name! The brain deals with an infinite amount of data and information in a person’s life. The human body would not be able to function without the brain.
The brain is a powerful organ that controls every process that helps keep our body in check. The brain is in charge of:
- motor skills
The three basic units of the brain are the forebrain (front of the brain), midbrain (middle of the brain), and hindbrain (back of the brain). The brain weighs about 3 pounds. It is pink, wrinkly, and soft.
The brain is about 6 inches long, about 5.5 inches wide, and about 4 inches deep. The brain is only about 2% of your body weight. It uses about 20% of your energy from the blood and oxygen in your body.
Structure Of Your Brain
Every brain is set up the same way. The brain has three main sections: the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. There are 7 parts of the brain, each of which has an important role.
- Frontal Lobe
- Temporal Lobe
- Parietal Lobe
- Occipital Lobe
- Brain Stem
Each of the different areas of the brain has important functions or different jobs to help your body run properly.
This part of your brain is located in the front of the brain. The frontal lobe controls your higher cognitive functions. These include short-term memory, emotions, impulses, problem-solving skills, social interactions, and motor function or your ability to move in specific ways.
The temporal lobe is one of the 4 lobes that make up the cerebral cortex. It sits close to ear level in your skull and is located on the left side of the brain. It is in charge of storing your long-term memory and the quick memories you make while awake.
The parietal lobe is located in the left and right hemisphere of the brain, and it is right in the center of the brain behind the frontal lobe. The function of this lobe is to take all the information from our 5 senses or sensory information and build a picture of the world around us.
The occipital lobe sits at the back of the brain and is responsible for visual perception or how you see things. This included color, form, and motion. If you damage this part of the brain, you can have difficulty identifying colors and may have hallucinations.
The cerebellum is located under the cerebrum and is made up of gray matter, or the cerebral cortex, and white matter is at the cerebellum’s center. This is the part of the brain that starts and coordinates movement and helps regulate your temperature.
The cerebrum is the biggest part of the brain and includes the frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes. It is known as the thinking part of the brain. It also controls the voluntary movements or the movements you want to do, your speech, sense, memory, and emotions.
The brain stem is at the bottom. It connects your brain to your spinal cord. The brainstem sends electrical signals to different parts of your body. These electrical impulses help your balance, breathing, heart rate, and more. Injuries and brain/heart conditions can affect how the brainstem works. The spinal cord is the main source of communication between the different parts of your body and your brain.
If you split the brain down the middle, you will notice they are not the same and do not have the same functions. The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body.
Brain Function and Development
Did you know it is a myth that we only use 10% of our brains? Neurologists or specialists who study the brain and treat diseases of the brain and spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and muscles have said the brain is always very active, even when sleeping. This makes a lot of sense when looking at other important brain parts.
The corpus callosum is a bundle of 200 nerve fibers connecting the right and left brains and helps communicate between the two sides. Your brain contains over 100 billion microscopic cells called motor neurons.
Whenever you dream, move, talk, see, etc., your brain sends signals all over your body to help you complete these important functions. These signals travel at 150 miles per hour, which is the same speed as a bullet train. A fun fact about neurons is they can move at different rates. If you have to make a quick decision, they can send messages as fast as 200 miles per hour. With all these connections and messages being sent, the brain can generate or make 23 watts of power. This energy is enough to power a lightbulb.
The central nervous system is made up of two parts. Part of the nervous system includes the spinal cord and brain, which are made of neurons and glia. There are many types of brain cells, but there are three essential types of glial cells: oligodendrocytes, microglial cells, and astrocytes. These types of cells are often referred to as brain cells.
To help protect your brain, there is a clear body fluid called Cerebrospinal fluid. It is found in the tissue surrounding the brain and within the brain and spinal cord. The Cerebrospinal fluid is there to cushion the brain and spinal cord to help protect them from injury and provide nutrients to those areas.
Your brain grows until you are 18 but continues to develop and learn until you are in your 40s. Brain development starts during the first few weeks as the baby grows inside the mother, and it is not complete until early adulthood (around 25 years old). The brain structure is formed before a baby is born and into early childhood. The formation and clarification of neural networks continue throughout our lives.
Interesting Brain Facts
Here are some interesting facts you may not know about the brain and its functions.
- Brain freeze may feel like it is happening in your brain, but it is a nerve reaction in your mouth.
- 4 main blood vessels supply blood to your brain: the Internal carotid arteries, the Anterior cerebral artery, the Anterior communicating artery, and the Middle cerebral artery.
- The brain is considered the most complex thing we have discovered in our universe.
- A Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. A TBI can affect brain functions.
- Your spinal cord stops growing at age 4.
- Headaches are a chemical reaction in your brain and muscles in your neck and head.
These are just a few fun facts about the brain. What other entertaining information do you know?
Taking Care of Your Brain
The brain is one of our body’s most incredible and exciting organs. It is something you need to take care of, just like your heart and lungs. There are a lot of things you can do to keep your brain strong and healthy.
Here are a few ways to make sure your brain is in tip-top shape:
- Do not smoke.
- Avoid a diet full of sugar.
- Sleep well.
- Keep stimulating your mind.
- Exercise and take care of your heart.
Some ways to stimulate your brain are completing crossword puzzles, playing card games, and learning to play a musical instrument. Deep breathing and journaling are also helpful!
The brain has many moving parts and helps your body with every function, from waving hi to your friend to figuring out the complex math problem on your homework. The brain is one remarkable organ and you must take great care of this important part of your body!