What is the Human Brain?
The brain is where we think. All of our senses are linked to the brain, allowing us to experience the outside world. We remember, have feelings, solve problems, worry about things, dream about the future, and control the body in the brain.
For such an impressive organ, the brain doesn’t look like much. It’s a wrinkled gray fabric ball about the size of your fists combined. The brain is located in our thick, hard skull surrounded by membranes and fluid to protect it.
How the Brain Communicates
The brain is part of the nervous system. Together with the spinal cord, it forms the central nervous system. The brain connects to nerves that travel throughout the body. The nerves that lead to our senses (hearing, sight, touch, etc.) send signals to the brain to tell the brain what’s going on in the outside world. The brain also sends signals using nerves to the muscles to make our bodies move.
Parts of the Brain
Cerebrum – The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It is the gray and wrinkled upper part. The surface of the brain is called the cerebral cortex. Different parts of the brain process different parts of the body. The rear part handles vision while the other parts handle other functions such as movement, hearing, language, and touch. Smart or thinking people are sometimes called cerebral.
Cerebellum – At the back and bottom of the brain is the cerebellum. This part of the brain is involved in motor movement. It processes all the motor messages coming from the nerves and determines what to do with them. The cerebellum can learn motor movements by practicing allowing us to do things like ride a bike or type without thinking about it. Hey, I didn’t think of typing it once!
Brain Stem or Medulla – This is where the brain connects to the spinal cord. In addition, many automatic functions are controlled here, such as maintaining heart rate, breathing and digesting food.
Memory of the Brain
The brain has two types of memory, short-term memory and long-term memory. Scientists are still figuring out exactly how memory works, but they know that short-term memory allows us to remember something for a very short time without repetition or practice. However, we can’t remember a lot of things in short-term memory, and as the name suggests, those memories don’t last long.
The Brain Needs Energy
The brain may not move, but it needs a lot of energy. Energy is sent to the brain through our blood. There are many blood vessels and blood circulating in the brain all the time. The brain actually uses about twenty percent of the body’s energy.
The Brain Has Two Halves
The brain is divided into two halves. Since nerves cross each other as they enter the brain, the left side of our brain controls the right half of our body and the right side controls the left half. Each half also controls specialized functions. The use of each half depends on whether you are left- or right-handed. In right-handed people, the left hemisphere is used for language and numbers while the right hemisphere is more artistic and is also used for object recognition.