Parts of the Brain and What They Do

Parts of the Brain and What They Do
Understanding the different parts of the brain and their functions will help you understand the intricacies of this organ.
Bodytomy Staff
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2018
Structure of human brain Anatomy system
Even though the brain constitutes mere 2 percent of the body, it consumes approximately 20 percent of the total energy required for the body to function.
Interestingly, the fact that it is so small doesn't make it less important. It guides the different parts of the body to perform different tasks. When you touch a hot object, the message is sent to the brain, wherein it is processed and your hand is directed to move away from the object; the entire process takes place in fractions of a second.
Parts of the Brain and Their Functions
The human brain can be divided into three parts: the cerebrum, cerebellum, and the brain stem.
Cerebrum functions are mostly associated with our thoughts and actions. It is the largest part of the brain and constitutes about 85 percent of its total weight. Cerebrum's outermost layer, the cerebral cortex is designed to increase the surface area of the brain. This, in turn, increases the amount of neurons and adds to the efficiency of nervous system.
Cerebrum is divided into four segments known as lobes. Their functions differ from each other. The frontal lobe, for instance, is mainly used for reasoning and problem solving, while the occipital lobe is used for visual information processing. Cerebral cortex is a major part of cerebrum and any damage to it can affect the body functions associated with it.
Also known as the little brain, the cerebellum is located at the rear portion of your head. It is designated to perform various motor activities of the body by coordinating with other parts of the brain and sensory system.
The movement of our body, our balance, posture etc., are guided by the cerebellum and therefore, any damage caused to it can either paralyze the entire body or a particular organ.
The cerebellum and cerebrum are divided into two hemispheres: the right brain and left brain. While right brain functions incline towards a holistic approach, the left brain functions lean towards factual tasks.
Brain Stem
The brain stem is important because it carries out various life functions of the body, including the regulation of breathing and blood pressure. It is also important because it connects the brain to the spinal cord.
The brain stem consists of midbrain, pons, and medula; each of these are associated with different human body systems. The medula, for instance, regulates breathing and heartbeat, while the pons carry out the sensory functions associated with it.
One has to understand that the brain is the most crucial component of the human nervous system, such that any damage induced upon it can have serious repercussions on the body. Even though it is secured inside the skull, which happens to be hardest part of the head, the chances of brain injury cannot be entirely ruled out.