The Brain

Essay by sharon33College, Undergraduate July 2009

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The brain is made of three main parts: the forebrain, midbrain, and the hindbrain. The forebrain is divided into two subdivisions: the telencephalon and the diencephalon. The primary structures of the telencephalon include the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, and the limbic system. Here the brain is divided between the left and right hemispheres of the cerebral cortex. The left hemisphere controls linguistic consciousness, the right half ofthe body, talking, reading, writing, spelling, speech communication, verbal intelligence and memories. The right hemisphere is associated with 'unconscious' awareness,perception of faces and patterns, comprehension of body language and social cues. The cerebral cortex is divided into four sections, called "lobes": the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. The diencephalon includes the thalamus, the cerebrum,and hypothalamus (Brain Physiology, Mark Bancroft). The thalamus is the relay station for incoming sensory signals and outgoing motor signals passing to and from the cerebral cortex.

The limbic system is at the midline of the brain and the structures circle the thalamus. The limbic system is involved in the regulation of motivated behaviors-including the four Fs of motivation: fleeing, feeding, fighting, and sexual behavior(Chapter 2 Anatomy of the Brain pg. 56). The hypothalamus is nuclei which control vital behaviors and activities; such as: eating, drinking, temperature regulation, sleep, emotional behavior, and sexual activity. It is located just beneath the thalamus and lies at the base of the brain.

The mesencephalon has two divisions. The two divisions of the mesencephalon are the tectum and the tegmentum. This is also the midbrain. The primary structures of the tectum include the superior colliculi and the inferior colliculi. The superior colliculi formpart of the visual system. The inferior colliculi are part of the auditory system (Chapter 2 Anatomy of the Brain pg. 53). The tegmentum is situated below the tectum.