Location of human brain stem

The brain is composed of several parts that control what you think; how you feel; where you move; what you see, hear, and taste; and many other functions. The cerebrun, cerebellum, and diencephalon are some of the major sections of the brain.


The cerebrum

The cerebrum is made up of the left and right cerebral hemispheres, separated by the falx cerebri. Each hemisphere has five lobes: the frontal lobe in the front (of course!), the temporal and parietal lobes on the sides, the occipital lobe in the back, and the insular lobe located between the temporal lobe and the frontal lobe. The cerebral cortex is the outer layer of the cerebrum. The surface of the cerebral cortex isn’t smooth; it has folds, grooves, and clefts. The folds are called gyri, the grooves are sulci (singular: sulcus), and the clefts are called fissures. These features increase the surface area of the brain while still allowing into to fit into its bony vault.

The cerebral hemispheres are connected by the corpus callosum, a band of nerve fibers that allows each side to communicate with the other. The cingulate gyrus is located superior to the corpus callosum. It helps coordinate emotions. The hippocampus and the amygdala are located in the temporal lobe and are important for memory.

The cerebrum has many different higher functions. It’s involved in controlling cognitive functions; shaping your personality, feelings, and perceptions; and handling motor functions and sensory interpretation.

The diencephalon

The diencephalon includes the epithalamus (the posterior part), thalamus (the middle part), and hypothalamus (the most inferior part). The diencephalon serves as a relay station, interconnecting different parts of the nervous system, and controls many autonomic nervous functions.

The cerebellum

The cerebellum is the portion of the brain lying beneath the tentorium cerebelli in the posterior part of the cranium. It’s made up of two hemispheres connected by the narrow wormlike part of the cerebellum called the vermis. The cerebellum controls balance, coordinates movement, and maintains muscle tone.

The brainstem

The brainstem includes three parts: the midbrain is the most superior part, the pons is in the middle, and the medulla oblongata (medulla) is the most inferior portion and connects to the spinal cord. The brainstem controls your levels of alertness, arousal, respiratory rate, blood pressure, digestion, heart rate, and other autonomic functions.

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