June 22, 2014
The brain is like a hard drive for a computer. Like a hard drive the brain also has many wires and complicated looking things in there. It is a lot easier to understand what part of the brain does what when it is broken down into the five major parts. The brain has five major parts and each part helps the human body function. The five major parts are called the myelencephalon, metencephalon, mesencephalon, diencephalon, and telencephalon. Pinel, (2011) had suggested an easier way to remember the order of the brain by putting them in alphabetical order after telencephalon. Myelencephalon
The first part of the brain is the myelencephalon. The myelencephalon is also known as the medulla, it is made out of large tracts that carry signals between the rest of the brain and the body (Pinel, 2011). The myelencephalon has a reticular formation and has about 100 tiny little nuclei’s. What the myelencephalon does for the human body is it plays a role in arousal, sleep, attention, movement, muscle ton, and various cardiac, circulatory, and respiratory reflexes (Pinel, p.64 , 2011). The myelencephalon does not play a great role in language production and compression. If a person were to look at a picture of a brain the myelencephalon is this little piece located at the bottom of the brain almost like it is the brain stem. Metencephalon
The second part of the brain is the metencephalon. The metencephalon is similar to the myelencephalon, it also houses many ascending and descending tracts and part of the reticular function (Pinel, p.65, 2011). The thing that is different from the two is that the metencephalon has two major divisions that are called pons and cerebellum also known as the little brain. If the cerebellum is damaged it eliminates the ability to be able to control ones movement and to be able to adapt to ones conditions (Pinel, p.65, 2011). It can also affect a person’s decision making and a variety of other cognitive affects. Rice University (2000), states that although the metencephalon plays a role in the precise movements of the tongue and lips required for language production, it is an unimportant structure with regard to the study of language and the brain. Mesencephalon
The next part of the brain is called the mesencephalon. The Mesencephalon like the metencephalon also has two divisons of the brain called the tectum and the tegmentum. The tectum is the roof of the midbrain and is also known as the optic function. The tegmentum is the division of the mesencephalon ventral to the tectum (Pinel, 2011). The tegmentum contains three different colors, the periaqueductal gray, the substantia nigra, and the red nucleus. The periaqueductal gray is gray matter that is around the cerebral aqueduct. The cerebral aqueduct plays a role in pain reducing effects on opiate drugs. The red and nigra nucleus also play important roles in the sensorimotor system (Pinel, 2011). Diencephalon
The next part of the brain is called the diencephalon. The diencephalon is composed of two structures: the thalamus and the hypothalamus (Pinel, p.66, 2011). The thalamus is the large two lobed structure at the top of the brain. One lob sits on each side of the third ventricle, so there is a right and a left thalamus. Located in the thalamus are the sensory relay nuclei. The sensory nuclei are responsible for receiving and processing signals from sensory receptors from there they transmit them to the appropriate sensory cortex (Pinel, 2011). The hypothalamus is located right below the thalamus. The hypothalamus plays an important role in motivated behaviors like sleeping, eating, and sexual behavior. The optic chiasm is also located in the hypothalamus. This is where optic nerves from each eye come together than create an X shape because some of the axons of the optic nerve cross over to the other side of the brain. Telencephalon
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