Give The Parts Of Brain And There Respective Functions?

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 There are many ways of dividing the brain for studying its various aspects. However, it is conventionally divided into three parts: the forebrain, the midbrain and the hindbrain. The brain also contains four interconnected cavities called ventricles , which contain cerebrospinal fluid . We will study the diagram of the brain and its functions in this article, along with a detailed study of the brain anatomy.

The forebrain is further divided into telencephalon and diencephalon .

Telencephalon: This consists of the two cerebral hemispheres of the cerebrum and their inter connections.

Cerebrum: The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. Any kind of trauma or lesion in the cerebrum can lead to various diseases and disorders and mental illnesses. The cerebrum is divided into two cerebral hemispheres by the medial longitudinal fissure . These two hemispheres are connected to each other by a fibrous band of nerves called the corpus callosum . The cortex of each hemisphere is divided into four lobes - the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, parietal lobe and the occipital lobe. The cerebral cortex is highly convoluted in its structure, which increases the area available for the neurons. The ridges present on the surface of the cortex are called gyri , whereas the grooves or fissures separating them are called sulci . Important sulci of the cerebrum include the central or Rolandic sulcus, the lateral or Sylvian sulcus, the parieto-occipital sulcus and the Calcarine sulcus. These sulci help to divide the cerebrum into its four lobes. Given below is a diagram of brain, its functions, detailing the four lobes and their associated structures.

Four Lobes of the Brain
Brain Lobes Diagram

Frontal Lobe: This is the part of the cerebrum that lies directly below the frontal bone. It is the part that is present directly behind the forehead. It is separated from the parietal lobe by the central sulcus , and from the temporal lobe by the lateral sulcus . The frontal lobe is divided into a lateral, polar, orbital and medial part. The frontal lobe is seen in the above diagram; and its functions are described below.

Functions : The frontal lobe is involved with the main executive functions of the brain, which include:

  • Judgment, that is, the ability to recognize future consequences resulting from ongoing actions. This activity mostly occurs in the pre-frontal area.
  • Analytical and critical reasoning.
  • Cognition and memory is mostly concentrated in the frontal lobe. Thus, any damage to this region leads to memory loss and dementia. In some people during old age, there is severe memory loss due to malfunctioning of the frontal lobe, which leads to Alzheimer 's disease.
  • Emotional traits of a person are stored in the frontal lobe.
  • The motor cortex located in the frontal lobe is responsible for voluntary motor activity. Thus, this is one of the regions often implicated in Parkinson 's disease.
  • The premotor cortex is responsible for the storage of motor patterns and various voluntary activities.
  • The frontal lobe is also responsible for storing the language skills of a person.

Parietal Lobe: The parietal lobe is that lobe that is present superior to the occipital lobe and posterior to the frontal lobe. It is enclosed by the parietal bone of the skull. The parietal lobe is separated from the frontal lobe by the central sulcus, while the lateral sulcus separates the parietal lobe from the temporal lobe.

Functions :

  • The parietal lobe is concerned with appreciation of basic sensations, such as touch, pain, pressure, temperature (heat and cold) and various joint movements.
  • It is also responsible for the discrimination of the intensity of various stimuli, like distinguishing warm from hot, ice-cold from cold, etc.
  • It is responsible for storing data, which helps in later fine tuning tactile sensation i.e. it helps in recognizing common familiar objects placed in our hand without looking at them.
  • Parietal lobe helps in recognition of spatial relationships, that is, realization of the exact point of tactile sensation, the ability of discrimination between two points of tactile stimulation etc.

Temporal Lobe: The temporal lobe is a region of the cerebral cortex that is present beneath the Sylvian fissure. It is present on both sides of the brain. This lobe is home to the primary auditory complex. This lobe contains the hippocampus.

Functions :

  • The temporal lobe is involved in auditory (sound) sensation and is where the Wernicke 's Area (language recognition center) is located. The left temporal lobe is especially seen to be involved in speech.
  • The sensation of smell is also registered in the temporal lobe.
  • This lobe is also partly responsible for emotion, memory and speech.

Occipital Lobe: The occipital lobe is the smallest lobe and is present at the back of the skull. It is present just overlying the occipital bone, hence the name. The occipital lobes rest on the tentorium cerebelli , which is a process of the dura mater , that separates the cerebrum from the cerebellum. At the edges of the occipital lobe, there are several lateral occipital gyri, separated by the lateral occipital sulcus.

Function : The occipital lobe is primarily involved with interpreting visual impulses. This is done via the visual pathway.

Visual Pathway: Visual inputs follow a slightly complex rule - the optic nerves from the two eyes come together at a point called the optic chiasm , and here, half the fibers of each nerve split off to join the other. Thus, impulses received from the left half of the retina in both eyes go to the left side of the brain, while the impulses from the right half of the retina go to the right brain.

The retinal sensors that are present in the eye are stimulated when rays enter the eye and reach them. This stimuli then is conveyed to the cuneus (Brodmann 's area 17). From here it goes on to the optic tracts and the lateral geniculate bodies of the thalamus, where optic radiations then continue onto the visual cortex. Each visual cortex receives raw sensory information from the outside half of the eye present on the same side and from the inside half of the eye present on the other side of the head. Finally, the image is then projected in the cortex. Given below is a diagram of the visual cortex of the brain.

Visual Cortex
Visual Cortex Brain

Thus, damage to the occipital lobe results in vision loss due to field cuts in each eye. If there is damage to the primary visual cortex, then this could lead to loss of vision of the opposite field, or in severe cases, seeing stars and flashes of light (visual hallucinations). It could also lead to color agnosia , that is, a problem with identifying colors (not to be confused with color blindness).

Diencephalon: The diencephalon sits beneath the middle of the cerebrum and on top of the brain stem. It contains two important structures called the thalamus and the hypothalamus, of which the hypothalamus connects with the pituitary complex.

Thalamus: The thalamus is a paired structure that is a part of the diencephalon. Each thalamus is a large, egg-shaped cluster of nuclei (gray matter). The two thalami lie close together, and are joined across the mid-line by a mass of gray matter called massa intermedia . This is the center that acts as a relay station for incoming sensory nerve impulses, thus sending these impulses to the required appropriate regions of the brain for further processing. Most sensory signals, like auditory signals, visual signals and somatosensory signals go through this structure before being further processed in the brain. It also plays a major role in motor control, and is responsible for control of muscular movements through its various connections with the basal ganglia, cerebellum and the motor cortex. Basically, it is responsible for letting the brain get information on what is happening outside the body.

Hypothalamus: This is a small structure present in the diencephalon that plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis , that is, a state of equilibrium within the body. The thalamus keeps conditions in the body constant, preventing any sudden change from occurring. It regulates various sensations, such as hunger, thirst, temperature, libido among other things. It is also responsible for the circadian rhythm which is exerted in the body (the daily sleep and awake cycle). It also plays a vital role in emotions, autonomic functions and motor functions. It tries to maintain homeostasis by exerting control on the pituitary gland.

Pituitary Gland: The pituitary gland, or the hypophysis, is a small pea-sized gland, that is present in the skull, resting in a cavity of the skull called the sella turcica . It is an endocrine gland that is involved with secreting various hormones, and thus, establishing hormonal balance in the body.

The various hormones secreted by the pituitary gland include the human growth hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone, anti-diuretic hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, oxytocin and thyroid stimulating hormone among other hormones. Thus, it is often called the master gland. Given below is a diagram outlining the main brain functions and parts.

Vertical Section of the Brain and its Functions
brain diagram labeled

The midbrain is divided into two parts by the Aqueduct of Sylvius , which is the duct that connects the III rd ventricle in the midbrain with the IV ventricle in the pons and medulla oblongata. The ventral part of it is called the cerebral peduncle , which is chiefly made up of white matter and it unites the pons with the thalamic region of the cerebrum. The dorsal part is called the tectum , which consists of two elevations, the superior and inferior colliculi .

Functions : This section serves as a relay center for sensory information from the ears to the cerebrum. It also controls the reflex movements of the muscles of the head, neck and the eye. Thus, it provides a passage for different neurons going in and coming out of the cerebrum.

Hindbrain or Rhombencephalon
The midbrain, pons and medulla oblongata are often together termed as the brain stem (sometimes only the pons and medulla oblongata are referred to as the brain stem). All cranial nerves are situated in the brain stem. The hindbrain is made up of the brain stem and the cerebellum.

Pons: The word 'pons ' literally means bridge. This is the structure that helps connect the two parts of the medulla oblongata and is often seen as a slight bulge present just above the medulla oblongata. The pons has a role in the level of arousal or consciousness and sleep. It also helps in relaying sensory impulses to and from the brain. Furthermore, it is involved in controlling autonomic body functions.

Medulla Oblongata: The medulla oblongata forms the lower half of the brain stem. It is an extremely important part, as it deals with vital and basic activities of the human body, as it contains the cardiac, respiratory and vasomotor centers. Thus, it is responsible for functions such as breathing, maintaining a steady heart rate and blood pressure, inciting regurgitation (vomiting), swallowing, urination, defecation and in coordinating lifesaving reflexes. Thus, it is the medulla oblongata that executes the most important function of the brain, that is, regulating our life processes. Normally, when a person is hanged to death, it is the medulla oblongata that is compressed to an extent that the person 's breathing and heartbeat stops. Thus, any kind of damage to this structure, due to either a brain stem injury or a brain stem stroke, is potentially life-threatening. Given below is a labeled diagram showing the brain stem and its related structures.

Brain Stem and Structures
brain anatomy diagram

Cerebellum: The word 'cerebellum ' literally means little brain. It is the second largest part of the brain, and is located at the back, below the occipital lobe, beneath the cerebrum and behind the brain stem. It contains an outer gray cortex and an inner white medulla, and has horizontal furrows, which makes it look different from the rest of the brain.

Functions :

  • Coordination of voluntary muscular movement. Thus, damage to the cerebellum results in cerebral palsy. Even uncontrolled movements, due to malfunctioning of the cerebellum can lead to seizures, which manifests as epilepsy. Thus, severe trauma to this region can even lead to paralysis.
  • Maintaining balance and equilibrium while walking, swimming, riding, etc.
  • Storing memory for reflex motor acts. It is basically involved with learning new movements, and coordinating and executing them properly.
  • It is also involved with coordinating simultaneous subconscious actions, like eating while talking or listening etc.
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3 types of brain :-

1. Fore brain :- It is the main thinking of the brain.It co-ordinates all voluntrary actions like smell,learning,thinking etc.

2. Mid brain :- Mid brain controls the reflex movements.It joined fore brain to hind brain.

3. Hind brain :- Hind brain are of three types - 1.Cerebrum 2.pons 3.Medulla

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The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals—only a few invertebrates such as spongesjellyfish, adult sea squirts and starfish do not have one, even if diffuse neural tissue is present. It is located in the head, usually close to the primary sensory organs for such senses as vision, hearing, balance, taste, and smell. The brain of a vertebrate is the most complex organ of its body. In a typical human thecerebral cortex (the largest part) is estimated to contain 15–33 billion neurons,[1] each connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons. These neurons communicate with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibers called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body targeting specific recipient cells.

Physiologically, the function of the brain is to exert centralized control over the other organs of the body. The brain acts on the rest of the body both by generating patterns of muscle activity and by driving secretion of chemicals called hormones. This centralized control allows rapid and coordinated responses to changes in the environment. Some basic types of responsiveness such as reflexes can be mediated by the spinal cord or peripheral ganglia, but sophisticated purposeful control of behavior based on complex sensory input requires the information-integrating capabilities of a centralized brain.

From a philosophical point of view, what makes the brain special in comparison to other organs is that it forms the physical structure that generates the mind. As Hippocrates put it: "Men ought to know that from nothing else but the brain come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs, despondency, and lamentations."[2] Through much of history, the mind was thought to be separate from the brain. Even for present-day neuroscience, the mechanisms by which brain activity gives rise to consciousness and thought remain very challenging to understand: despite rapid scientific progress, much about how the brain works remains a mystery. The operations of individual brain cells are now understood in considerable detail, but the way they cooperate in ensembles of millions has been very difficult to decipher. The most promising approaches treat the brain as a biological computer, very different in mechanism from electronic computers, but similar in the sense that it acquires information from the surrounding world, stores it, and processes it in a variety of ways.

This article compares the properties of brains across the entire range of animal species, with the greatest attention to vertebrates. It deals with the human brain insofar as it shares the properties of other brains. The ways in which the human brain differs from other brains are covered in the human brain article. Several topics that might be covered here are instead covered there because much more can be said about them in a human context. The most important is brain disease and the effects of brain damage, covered in the human brain article because the most common diseases of the human brain either do not show up in other species, or else manifest themselves in different ways.



a blob with a blue patch in the center, surrounded by a white area, surrounded by a thin strip of dark-colored material
Cross section of the olfactory bulb of a rat, stained in two different ways at the same time: one stain shows neuron cell bodies, the other shows receptors for theneurotransmitter GABA.

The shape and size of the brains of different species vary greatly, and identifying common features is often difficult.[3] Nevertheless, there are a number of principles of brain architecture that apply across a wide range of species.[4] Some aspects of brain structure are common to almost the entire range of animals species;[5] others distinguish "advanced" brains from more primitive ones, or distinguish vertebrates from invertebrates.[3]

The simplest way to gain information about brain anatomy is by visual inspection, but many more sophisticated techniques have been developed. Brain tissue in its natural state is too soft to work with, but it can be hardened by immersion in alcohol or other fixatives, and then sliced apart for examination of the interior. Visually, the interior of the brain consists of areas of so-called grey matter, with a dark color, separated by areas of white matter, with a lighter color. Further information can be gained by staining slices of brain tissue with a variety of chemicals that bring out areas where specific types of molecules are present in high concentrations. It is also possible to examine the microstructure of brain tissue using a microscope, and to trace the pattern of connections from one brain area to another.[6]

Cellular structure

drawing showing a neuron with a fiber emanating from it labeled "axon" and making contact with another cell. An inset shows an enlargement of the contact zone.
Neurons generate electrical signals that travel along their axons. When a pulse of electricity reaches a junction called a synapse, it causes a neurotransmitter chemical to be released, which binds to receptors on other cells and thereby alters their electrical activity.

The brains of all species are composed primarily of two broad classes of cells: neuronsand glial cells. Glial cells (also known as glia or neuroglia) come in several types, and perform a number of critical functions, including structural support, metabolic support, insulation, and guidance of development. Neurons, however, are usually considered the most important cells in the brain.[7]

The property that makes neurons unique is their ability to send signals to specific target cells over long distances.[8] They send these signals by means of an axon, which is a thin protoplasmic fiber that extends from the cell body and projects, usually with numerous branches, to other areas, sometimes nearby, sometimes in distant parts of the brain or body. The length of an axon can be extraordinary: for example, if apyramidal cell of the cerebral cortex were magnified so that its cell body became the size of a human body, its axon, equally magnified, would become a cable a few centimeters in diameter, extending more than a kilometer.[9] These axons transmit signals in the form of electrochemical pulses called action potentials, which last less than a thousandth of a second and travel along the axon at speeds of 1–100 meters per second. Some neurons emit action potentials constantly, at rates of 10–100 per second, usually in irregular patterns; other neurons are quiet most of the time, but occasionally emit a burst of action potentials.[10]

Axons transmit signals to other neurons by means of specialized junctions calledsynapses. A single axon may make as many as several thousand synaptic connections with other cells.[11] When an action potential, traveling along an axon, arrives at a synapse, it causes a chemical called a neurotransmitter to be released. The neurotransmitter binds to receptor molecules in the membrane of the target cell.[12]

A bright green cell is seen against a red and black background, with long, highly branched, green processes extending out from it in multiple directions.
Neurons often have extensive networks of dendrites, which receive synaptic connections. Shown is a pyramidal neuronfrom the hippocampus, stained for green fluorescent protein.



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Parts of the Brain and their Functions

The brain is divided into lobes as illustrated above and below:

Frontal Lobes

The frontal lobes are part of the Cerebral Cortex and are the largest of the brain's structures. They are the main site of so–called 'higher' Cognitive functions. The frontal lobes contain a number of important substructures, including the prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, motor and premotor cortices, and Broca's area. These substructures are involved in attention and thought, voluntary movement, decision–making, and language.

Associated functions

Executive processes (voluntary behavior such as decision making, planning, problem–solving, and thinking), voluntary motor control, cognition, intelligence, attention, language processing and comprehension, and many others.

The frontals lobes are the brain's largest structures and consequently have been associated with a large number of disorders. These include ADHD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder (prefrontal cortex).

Symptoms of brain tumours affecting the Frontal Lobe

The frontal lobes determine personality and contain the area called the motor cortex that controls movement of the muscles of the body (the motor cortex on the right half of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa). The frontal lobes are thought to be the area of the brain most involved in conscious thinking. Symptoms of tumours affecting the frontal lobe can include:

  •   Personality change
  •   Disinhibition – loss of inhibition leading to offensive behaviour which is out of character for that person e.g. swearing, rudeness, inappropriate sexual behaviour
  •   Irritability
  •   Aggression
  •   apathy – loss of interest in life
  •   Difficulty planning or organising
  •   Weakness of one side of the face or body
  •   Problems walking
  •   Difficulty speaking

Parietal Lobe

The parietal cortex plays an important role in integrating information from different senses to build a coherent picture of the world. It integrates information from the Ventral visual pathways (which process what things are) and Dorsal visual pathways (which process where things are). This allows us to coordinate our movements in response to the objects in our environment. It contains a number of distinct reference maps of the body, near space, and distant space, which are constantly updated as we move and interact with the world.

The parietal cortex processes attentional awareness of the environment, is involved in manipulating objects, and representing numbers.

Associated functions

  •   perception and integration of somatosensory information (e.g. touch, pressure, temperature, and pain)
  •   visuospatial processing
  •   spatial attention
  •   spatial mapping
  •   number representation
  •   Associated cognitive disorders

Symptoms of brain tumours affecting the parietal lobe

The parietal lobe contains areas responsible for the sensation of touch and association, this area enables fine judgement of sensation such as texture, weight, size. Symptoms of tumours in this area include:

  •   Loss of sensation in part of the body
  •   Sensory or motor neglect – e.g. a person with right sided sensory neglect will not respond to a sound from the right, gesturing by someone standing on their right or a touch to the right side of the body. They will respond normally to these stimuli on the left side.
  •   Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  •   Problems with reading and/or writing

Occipital Lobe

The occipital cortex is the primary visual area of the brain. It receives projections from the retina (via the thalamus) from where different groups of neurons separately encode different visual information such as color, orientation, and motion. Pathways from the occipital lobes reach the temporal and Parietal Lobes and are eventually processed consciously. Two important pathways of information originating in the occipital lobes are the dorsal and ventral streams. The dorsal stream projects to the parietal lobes and processes where objects are located. The ventral stream projects to structures in the temporal lobes and processes what objects are.

Associated functions

  • vision

Symptoms of brain tumours affecting the occipital lobe

This area is responsible for vision; symptoms include problems with or loss of vision on one side. Blindness that is caused by damage to the visual area of the brain is called ‘central’ or ‘cortical’ blindness.

Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobes contain a large number of substructures, whose functions include perception, face recognition, object recognition, memory acquisition, understanding language, and emotional reactions. Damage to the temporal lobes can result in intriguing neurological deficits called agnosias, which refer to the inability to recognize specific categories (body parts, colors, faces, music, smells).

Associated functions

  • Recognition
  • Perception (hearing, vision, smell)
  • Understanding language
  • Learning and memory
  • Associated cognitive disorders
  • Schizophrenia is the cognitive disorder most closely aligned to temporal lobe dysfunction.

Symptoms of brain tumours affecting the temporal lobe

The temporal lobe has many functions including processing of audio and visual information, comprehension and memory of verbal information. Symptoms of tumours in this area include:

  •   Fits – these may be called ‘temporal lobe Epilepsy’ this type of epilepsy is often associated with weird feelings, smells or dÉjÀ vu sensations which accompany or precede a fit.
  •   Short term memory problems
  •   Inability to recall words


The cerebellum monitors and regulates motor behavior, particularly automatic movements. Some recent studies have associated the cerebellum with cognitive functions, such as learning and attention. Although the cerebellum accounts for roughly 10% of total brain weight, it contains more neurons than the rest of the brain combined. The cerebellum is also one of the few mammalian brain structures where adult neurogenesis (the development of new neurons) has been confirmed.

Associated functions

  • coordination of voluntary movement
  • motor–learning
  • balance
  • reflex memory
  • posture
  • timing
  • sequence learning

Symptoms of brain tumours affecting the cerebellum

The cerebellum helps to coordinate balance, symptoms of tumours affecting the cerebellum include:

  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Problems with co-ordination of limbs
  • Intention tremor
  • Abnormal eye movements – ‘nystagmus’
  • Nausea and dizziness

Brain Stem

The brain stem consists of a group of structures that lie Deep within the brain, including the Pons, medulla oblongata, and midbrain. It plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis by controlling autonomic functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. While the brain stem can organize motor movements such as reflexes, it coordinates with the motor cortex and associated areas to contribute to fine movements of limbs and the face.

Associated functions

  • maintaining homeostasis by controlling autonomic functions (including blood pressure, breathing, digestion, heart rate, perspiration and temperature)
  • alertness
  • sleep
  • balance
  • startle response
  • Associated cognitive disorders

Very few cognitive disorders have been associated with the brain stem.

Symptoms of brain tumours affecting thebrain stem

Problems in the brainstem often cause things like:

  • double vision
  • nausea
  • sleepiness
  • weakness on one side of the body.

However, because so many nerves go through the brainstem, problems here can cause a wide range of symptoms.

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