Human Brain Functions - Functioning of Human Brain with Diagram
- Which part of the brain consolidates information from short-term memory to long-term memory?
- How do you execute thinking and reasoning?
- When do the non-fluent and fluent aphasias occur?
- What is the location and function of the temporal lobe in the brain?
- Is breathing a voluntary or involuntary brain function?
Did you know if breathing were under your voluntary control, you’d be unable to breathe during sleep, and die? Your brain is the most complex and, arguably, the most fragile organ of the body. It is the control centre for every single thing occurring in your body.
It is guarded against damages by the four-tyre defence system, comprising the skull, the meninges, the fluid-filled membranes (the cushions), and the blood-brain barrier.
The Human Brain Functions List:
The master organ of your body, it is assigned a multitude of vital brain functions that are regulated and accomplished quite efficiently. The delicate spongy mass making up the brain is enclosed in a hard shell, the skull, beautifully placed at the top of your body.
What are human brain functions in the body? To list all the functions and responsibilities of this collection of billions of neurons, you need to compose a whole book.
From a mild feeling of touch to the complex phenomenon of sublime thoughts and critical decision-making capabilities, all fall under the domain of this central part of the Central Nervous System.
The higher functions of the brain are to be performed by the cerebral cortex, a highly developed region of the brain.
It contains four lobes, each assigned a specific task. Thus,the brain executes all the actions and processes involving the division of labour.
For the basic understanding of the subject, here follows a list of the human brain functions.
Reasoning – A Definitive Characteristics of Human Nature
Thinking or reasoning is performed by the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex. That is what distinguishes human beings as the most advanced creature on the planet earth.
Cognition or intellect is the capacity of human beings that enables them to challenge social or religious beliefs and verify facts.
Here it is no wonder to know that the development of knowledge in various fields, such as science, art, philosophy, mathematics, and language is solely due to the marvellous potential of your reasoning.
Your brain initiates and coordinates various body movements. These movements can be of two types, voluntary and involuntary. They occur in different organs of the body.
For example, the arms, legs, and neck muscles are to be controlled by conscious actions. On the other hand, the beating of heart, regulation of the blood pressure, and breathing are the involuntary ones.
The conscious activities are directed to by cerebrum and originate from the motor areas of the frontal lobe and the primary motor cortex.
Just imagine, if there were no movement in your body, there would be no life or soul in it!
All the five traditional senses, namely, sight (vision), hearing (auditory), smell (olfaction), taste (gustation), and touch (somatosensory), are perceived, processed and controlled by the brain.
It involves the primary sensory areas in the cerebrum. The perception of the world around is developed by the sensory information that is synthesized by these regions of the cerebral cortex.
Communication and Language
Broca's and Wernicke's Areas are primarily associated with the production and comprehension of speech sounds, respectively.
Broca's area is in the Frontal Lobe, while Wernicke's area is at the junction between the temporal and parietal lobe. So, this part of the brain assists you in communication with other members of society.
What are non-fluent and fluent aphasias? These are the disorders of language caused by any damage or injury to the areas that are responsible for the creation and perception of speech sounds.
Did you ever think of how your brain creates a perfect visual image of the things you see in the world around? Yes, this is the task assigned to the occipital lobe of the telencephalon.
The telencephalon is a region of your brain that receives the visual signals from the retina of your eye via the Optic Nerve. After processing, it converts the signals into the mirror image of the same object.
Problem Solving and Emotions
Humans, among all the advanced creatures on earth, have the profound capability of understanding and evaluating, and offering a comprehensive and applicable solution to the critical issues of life.
You also know the man is called the 'emotional beast'. It is because of the variety of emotional attitudes in response to various real-life situations. Both these assignments fall under the domain of Frontal Lobe of the cerebral cortex.
However, these problem-solving characteristics are also found in some lower animals. They simply follow the genetic programs already present in their brain but are unable to reason (think over) and plan the tasks.
The perception, recognition and interpretation of the stimuli, related to the sense of hearing, are accomplished by the assistance of the temporal lobe.
The temporal lobe stretches across both the hemispheres of the cerebral cortex and is located beneath the lateral fissure.
The function of this structurally and functionally specialized region of the brain is not just limited to auditory processing. It is also involved in producing emotional attitudes, storing new memories, processing sensory output, and the retention of visual memories.
Memory and Learning
The hippocampus is found in the temporal lobe of the telencephalon and is considered as one of the functionally important regions of the human brain.
It plays an important role in the process of learning and memory processing. Once you receive information through your sensory organs, it is processed in the brain and temporarily stored in the short-term memory.
The function of the medial temporal lobe is to consolidate the information from short term memory to the long-term memory and carry out the spatial navigation.
Can you take breathing under your voluntary command or can you control and continue the activity while sleeping? The answer to the first part of the question is ‘no’. The reason is explained by the second clause.
If it were really under your deliberate action, you wouldn't be able to breathe while sleeping, and consequently, die!
The posterior part of the hindbrain, called medulla oblongata, performs involuntary tasks of your body, such as a gaseous exchange.
The alternative expansion and contraction of lung muscles, the lowering and elevation of the diaphragm, and the similar activities of the chest muscles are done quite automatically without even thinking so.
Regulation of Heartbeat
The heartrate or regular pumping of blood by heart is vital to the overall functioning of the body. It is responsible for the delivery and elimination of the respiratory gases and the products of metabolism across each smallest part of your body.
If there is a delay in the supply of oxygen and essential nutrients, the deprived cells start dying. An extended delay may even lead to your death.
The medulla oblongata is the organ concerned with the regulation of your heartbeat rate and is comprised of the lower part of brainstem or hindbrain.
Blood Pressure Control
The maintenance and regulation of blood pressure is one of the involuntary functions. It is performed by the medullar region of your brain that connects the higher parts of the Central Nervous System with the spinal cord.
It keeps the diastolic (minimum) and systolic (maximum) pressure in the arteries under normal limits.
In the case the blood pressure rises beyond the bearable limits, you are very likely to suffer from a heartattack, brain haemorrhage or other critical circulatory disorders.