The brain is a vital organ that controls different bodily functions. This organ gets all sensory information (including sounds, smells, tastes, and sights). The brain consists of different parts that help you function.

What is the Brain?

Everything that makes you unique (such as emotions, aspirations, sensations, and others) comes from this vital organ. Furthermore, it is a complex organ because it receives, processes, and interprets information. The brain is also a place where it stores memories and controls movements. This organ is a part of the central nervous system (CNS) that connects it to the spinal cord, and other CNS parts.


There are five senses that send signals (information) to the brain. For example sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. It also receives information about vibration, pain, and body temperature. Thereafter, it is interpreting the information and that’s how you can understand what happens around you. Check below some examples of what your brain enables:

  • Thoughts and decisions
  • Memories
  • Emotions
  • Movements, balance, and coordination
  • Sensations (such as pain)
  • Automatic behavior (including heart rate, sleep, temperature control, breathing, and others)
  • Organ function regulation
  • Language and speech functions
  • Stress response


This essential organ has 3 primary parts. For example:

  • Cerebrum – This section helps to regulate emotions, learning, and reasoning. Approximately 80% of the brain is the cerebrum.
  • Cerebellum – This part is responsible for balance, posture, coordination, and motor skills. The cerebellum is located in the back of the brain.
  • Brainstem – This brain part is responsible for regulating automatic body functions. These functions are not consciously controlled by a person and they include breathing, heart rate, sleep, wake cycles, swallowing, and others. The location of the brainstem is in the lower part of the brain and it also connects all brain to the spinal cord.

What Are The Sections that Your Brain Consists of?

The brain has different sections (lobes) on each side. These lobes work together to help ensure normal functioning. However, every section plays an important role in brain and body functions. For example:

  • The sections that are localized behind the forehead are called frontal lobes. They are considered the largest section and it is responsible for controlling voluntary movement, speech, and intellect. The primary motor cortex or precentral gyrus are called frontal lobes responsible for movement control. In addition, the prefrontal cortex and other regions play a key role in intelligence, personality, and memory.
  • The sections that are located in the back of the brain are called occipital lobes. They are responsible for visual information. For example, these sections control how you process colors, movement, and shapes.
  • The lobes localized near the brain center are called parietal lobes. These sections are responsible for different sensory inputs that help you to understand your environment and your body’s state.
  • Near the ears on both brain’s sides are located temporal lobes. This part helps to get words or places where you have been.
  • Deep in the middle part of the brain are located limbic lobes. These lobes are a part of the temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes. The amygdala and hippocampus are important parts of the limbic system.
  • These sections are localized deep in the parietal, frontal, and temporal lobes and are called insular lobes. These portions involve the processing of different sensory inputs such as sensory and motor inputs, autonomic inputs, pain perception, and others.

Is There a Difference between the Left and Right Brain Hemispheres?

The brain is divided into two halves by the cerebrum. They are connected by nerve fiber bundles (white matter called corpus callosum). Generally, the right side of the cerebrum controls the movement on the left side of the body and vice versa.

In most cases, the left hemisphere is “dominant” but not every time. Typically, for those who are left-handed the right hemisphere is dominant and it is responsible for language and speech functions. The non-dominant hemisphere is responsible for the processing of sight and spatial awareness.

Approximately, 1 in 10 right-handed and 1 in 3 left-handed people have the right hemisphere dominant. Thus, the speech function is centered on the right side of the brain. However, in people with epilepsy or tumors, the dominant hemisphere can be shifted. This process is known as brain plasticity.

Brain Protection

The cranium that surrounds the brain is a protective bony structure. Moreover, the cranium is a part of the skull that helps to protect the brain against injuries. However, between the brain and skull, there are 3 tissue layers (meninges). For example:

  • Dura mater – This is the external layer that lines throughout the skull. It also separates the brain’s hemispheres.
  • Arachnoid – It is a meninges-thin and fragile layer that covers all the brain.
  • Pia mater – The internal layer consists of blood vessels.

Additionally, the central nervous system also contains certain substances called white and gray matter. They play an important role in someone’s daily function. The deeper brain tissue is white matter and it helps send electric nerve signals more efficiently.

Other Brain Parts

While roughly all brain cells are located on the surface (gray matter) and the cabling (white matter), others are deep in the brain (called nuclei or collections of brain cells). For example:

  • Thalamus – This structure relays different sensory information including sound, touch, or sight to the cerebral cortex from the entire body.
  • Hypothalamus – This brain part plays a key role in hormone functions (such as hunger, thirst, and sleep). It is localized below the thalamus.
  • Pituitary gland – This gland transmits hormones to organs in the body.
  • Basal ganglia – A group of nuclei located deep in the cerebrum that is very important in movement control (including motor learning and planning) is called basal ganglia.
  • Brainstem nuclei – Many nuclei that are located in the brainstem are involved in different body functions. For example normal sleep function, autonomic functions (including breathing and heart rate), and pain.
  • Reticular formation – This is also a part of the brainstem and thalamic nuclei and it is responsible for mediating the level of awareness, consciousness, and focus. The reticular formation also helps to control the sleep-wake transition and autonomic function.

Health Conditions

Approximately 1 in 6 people experience a type of brain disease. Check below some examples of brain conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – The main symptom of these conditions is memory loss. These brain diseases cause a progressive loss of cognitive functions.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – This is a neuromuscular disorder in which the brain’s nerve cells break down.
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – This brain condition negatively affects development, ability to communicate, and behavior.
  • Brain tumor – Abnormal cell growth happens in the brain.
  • Epilepsy – This is a health condition in which a person experiences a disruption in the activity of the brain’s cells. People with this brain condition have seizures.
  • Parkinson’s disease – A progressive nervous system disorder that provokes uncontrollable movements (tremors).
  • Stroke – A brain disease in which an interruption of the blood supply to the brain occurs. Usually, it is caused by an artery blockage or rupture (burst).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a head injury cause a brain condition?

Yes, people who experience head injuries may suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion. Epilepsy and dementia also can happen but in rare cases.

What are tips to keep the brain healthy?

  • Exercise consistently
  • Adopt a diet of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats
  • Quit smoking
  • You can drink alcohol but in moderation only
  • Get a healthy sleep cycle (at least 7 to 8 hours per night)

Discuss with your healthcare professional for more details.

Can you be born with a brain condition?

It is possible to be born with a brain disease due to inherited conditions, genetic differences, or injuries in the uterus. However, ask your healthcare professional if you have other questions.

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