Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brain Structures and Functions

Basal ganglia
Located within the cerebral hemispheres, it is a component of the corpus striatum, and consists of the substantia nigra and subthalamic nucleus (Bailey, 2013). Its functions are that it controls cognition, movement coordination, and voluntary movement.
Corpus collosum
A thick band of nerve fibers, which divides the cerebrum into right and left hemispheres, and connects the brain’s right and left sides, which allows both hemispheres to communicate (Bailey, 2013). Also it transfers sensory, motor, and cognitive information between hemispheres (Bailey, 2013). Its function are that it controls communication between the brain hemispheres, eye movement, maintains the balance of arousal and attention, and tactile localization.
Temporal lobe
One of the four main lobes of cerebral cortex (Bailey, 2013). Its functions are auditory perception, memory, speech, and emotional response.
Occipital lobe
One of the four main lobes of the cerebral cortex. Its function is visual perception and color recognition.
Frontal lobe
One of the four lobes of the cerebral cortex. Its functions are problem solving, decision-making, and planning.
The most highly developed and largest portion of the brain, consisting of gyri, which are folded bulges that create deep furrows (Bailey, 2013). Its functions involving the body include motor function, organization and planning, touch sensation, determining intelligence, determining personality, thinking, perceiving, producing and understanding language, and interpretation of sensory impulses (Bailey, 2013).
Spinal cord
Composed of bundles of nerve fibers and it runs from the brain through a canal, which is in the center of the bones of the spine (University of Pittsburgh, 2013). Its functions are that of a neural transfer network; it sends signals to and from the brain and the rest of the body, and it is capable of regulating a certain amount of its own reflexes.
Composed of white matter and a thin outer layer of folded gray matter, and it contains numerous amounts of neurons used for data processing (Bailey, 2013).  Its functions are that it controls movement coordination, maintains balance, and equilibrium.
A portion of the hindbrain. Its functions are that it controls autonomic functions, such as digestion, breathing, sneezing and swallowing, heart and blood vessel functioning, coordination of body movement (Bailey, 2013). It also relays nerve signals and messages between the spinal cord and the brain.
A portion of the hindbrain which connects the cerebral cortex and the medulla oblongata (Bailey, 2013). Its functions are arousal, sleep, controls autonomic functions, and it relays sensory information between the cerebellum and cerebrum.
A horseshoe shaped paired structure of the limbic system, and  its functions are navigation, spatial orientation, emotional responses, the consolidation of new memories, and acts as a memory indexer (Bailey, 2013).
It is an almond shaped mass of nuclei located within the temporal lobe (Bailey, 2013). Its functions are memory, arousal, emotional responses, hormonal secretions, and autonomic responses associated with fear (Bailey, 2013).
Pituitary gland
A small endocrine organ, which is divided into a posterior lobe, intermediate lobe, and anterior lobe. Its functions are growth hormone production, endocrine function regulation, production of hormones that act on other endocrine glands and hormones that act on muscles and kidneys, and it stores hormones that are produced by the hypothalamus (Bailey, 2013).
It is similar to the size of a pearl and is a structure of the limbic system. Its functions are autonomic, endocrine, and motor function control, homeostasis, water and food intake regulation, and sleep-wake cycle regulation (Bailey, 2013).
A large dual lobed mass of grey matter located under the cerebral cortex (Bailey, 2013). Its functions are motor control, control of sleep and wake states, it relays sensory signals to the cerebral cortex, and it receives visual, somatosensory, and auditory sensory signals.

University of Pittsburgh. (2013). Retrieved from

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