The Five Major Structures of the Human Brain
University of Phoenix
October 27, 2012
The human brain is nothing short of incredible. In a way it’s the world’s most powerful computer because it can process tasks at lightning speeds and simultaneously be in control of our reflexes and every other voluntary and involuntary functions. It is the most important and complex organ as well as our core for learning At the point of birth, the brain weighs an average of 350 to 400 grams and can weigh from about 1,300 to 1,400 grams as an adult. The brain is composed up of roughly 77 to 78% of water, 10 to 12% lipids, 8% proteins, 1% carbs, 2% soluble organics, and 1% inorganic salt. The brain can actually grow as it obtains more knowledge. The brain is made up of the five major structures: the myelencephalon, metencephalon (the hindbrain), mesencephalon (the midbrain), diencephalon, and the telencephalon (the forebrain).
The myelencephalon is a structure of the medulla oblongata. The medulla transmits signals between the spinal cord and the upper areas of the brain. It is the lowest area of the brainstem. This area of the brain carries signals between the body and the brain. The functions of the myelencephalon include autonomic functions, breathing, digestion, heart rate, swallowing, and sneezing. The mentencephalon is located under the rear area of the cerebrum and above the medulla oblongata. This structure is made up of the cerebellum and pons (the connection to the cerebellum). The functions of the metencephalon include arousal, balance, cardiac reflexes, muscle movement and maintenance, and sleep. Along with the myelencephalon, they represent the hindbrain. The mesencephalon is the midbrain structure of the brain stem. It is what bridges the hindbrain to the forebrain. The functions of the mesencephalon include controlling sight response, eye movement, pupil dilation, body movement, and hearing. Within the mesencephalon is the...
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