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Anatomy of the Brain

The brain controls the body. You can move, see, talk, and feel because of the brain. And it's the brain that makes you able to think, to show emotions, and to make judgments. The brain is protected by the skull, tissue, and fluid.

Functions of the brain

Each part of the brain has a certain role. Some skills and traits occur in more than one section. The brain has large sections on each side called cerebral hemispheres. These control many higher functions such as movement, language, behavior, and sensation. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body. And the left hemisphere controls the body’s right side. The cerebellum is mostly responsible for coordinating movements. The brain stem controls many of the functions of our head and face. This includes eye movements, face movement, and swallowing. But it also controls many vital functions such as breathing.

Protecting the brain

There are 3 layers of tissue called meninges. This help protect the brain. The outer covering of tissue is called the dura mater. It closely lines the inside of the skull. The second layer is the arachnoid mater. The third layer is the pia mater. It hugs the surface of the brain. The brain is cushioned and supported by a special fluid called the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF fills the subarachnoid space between the arachnoid mater and the pia mater. Spaces within the brain called ventricles make the CSF. Arteries and veins carry blood to and from the brain. Without a fresh supply of blood brain tissue quickly dies.

Side view of head with brain inside skull. Frontal lobe at front of brain controls movement, intelligence, behavior, and memory. Temporal lobe on side of brain controls speech, behavior, memory, hearing, and vision. Parietal lobe at top and side controls intelligence, reasoning, telling right from left, language, sensation, and reading. Occipital lobe at back controls vision. Cerebellum at base controls balance, coordination, and fine muscle control. Brain stem connecting to spinal cord controls breathing, blood pressure, heartbeat, and swallowing. Blood vessels in neck branch out into brain. Dura is covering on brain. Cerebrospinal fluid surrounds brain under dura.

Online Medical Reviewer: Anne Fetterman RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph Campellone MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2020
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