The midbrain is often considered the smallest region of the brain. It acts as a sort of relay station for auditory and visual information. The midbrain controls many important functions such as the visual and auditory systems as well as eye movement. Portions of the midbrain called the red nucleus and the substantia nigra are involved in the control of body movement. The darkly pigmented substantia nigra contains a large number of dopamine-producing neurons are located. The degeneration of neurons in the substantia nigra is associated with Parkinson’s disease.
The cerebral cortex is what we see when we look at the brain. It is the outermost portion that can be divided into the four lobes of the brain. Each bump on the surface of the brain is known as a , while each groove is known as a .
The human brain is remarkably complex and researchers are still working toward understanding many of the mysteries of how the mind works. By better understanding how different parts of the brain function, you can also better appreciate how disease or injury may impact certain functions.
The hypothalamus is a grouping of nuclei that lie along the base of the brain near the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus connects with many other regions of the brain and is responsible for controlling hunger, thirst, , body temperature regulation, and . The hypothalamus also controls the pituitary gland by secreting hormones, which gives the hypothalamus a great deal of control over many body functions.
The medulla is located directly above the spinal cord in the lower part of the brain stem and controls many vital autonomic functions such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.
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is not only one of the most important organs in the human body; it is also the most complex. In the following tour, you will learn about the basic structures that make up the brain as well as how the brain works. This is not an in-depth look at all of the research on the brain (such a resource would fill stacks of books). Instead, the goal of this brain tour is to familiarize you with major brain structures and their functions.
The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that functions to make human beings unique. Distinctly human traits including higher thought, language and human as well as the ability to think, reason and imagine all originate in the cerebral cortex.