Twenty Parts of the Brain and Their Functions

Topics: Cerebrum, Cerebral cortex, Brain Pages: 2 (537 words) Published: February 14, 2007
Twenty Parts of the Brain and Their Functions

1. Pons – A structure of the brain stem that is involved in sleeping, waking, and dreaming. 2. Medulla – A structure of the brain stem that is responsible for automatic bodily functions, such as breathing and heart rate. 3. Reticular Activating System – The RAS screens incoming information and arouses the cortex when something happens that requires their attention. 4. Cerebellum – The cerebellum functions as a "lesser brain" It contributes to our sense of balance and coordinates the muscles so their movements are smooth and precise. The cerebellum is involved with remembering simple skills and acquired reflexes. It also contributes to complex cognitive tasks such as problem solving. 5. Thalamus – The thalamus functions as a director for the sensory messages except the sense of smell. The thalamus transmits the sensory messages as they are received to the cerebral cortex. 6. Hypothalamus – The hypothalamus is involved in behaviors necessary for survival such as, hunger, thirst, emotion, sex, and reproduction. It regulates the body temperature, controls the operations of the autonomic nervous system, and contains the biological clock controlling the body's daily rhythms. 7. Pituitary Gland – The pituitary gland functions as the "master" gland. The hormones it secretes affect many other endocrine glands. The pituitary gland operates under the direction of the hypothalamus. 8. Limbic System – The limbic system is a group of brain areas involved in emotional reactions and motivated behavior. 9. Amygdala - The amygdale is responsible for evaluating sensory information to determine its emotional importance and contributing to the decision to approach or withdraw from a person or situation. It also plays a role in emotional memory and mediating anxiety and depression. 10. Hippocampus – The hippocampus compares sensory information received to what the brain knows what to expect from the world. It also...
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