The Nervous System, Five parts of the brain

Essay by Valor9College, UndergraduateA, April 2005

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1. The Thalamus- A brain structure that relays sensory messages to the cerebral cortex.

        It functions as a traffic officer of the brain. It directs sensory messages to higher centers as they come into the brain.

        If this part of the brain were injured, a person would be impaired because the vision signals wouldn't be sent to the vision area, and auditory signals would not be sent to the auditory area.

2. Hypothalamus- A brain structure involved in emotions and drives vital to survival.

        It functions as a regulator of body temperature (ie. triggering sweating, shivering, etc) it is involved with drives necessary for survival of species as well as the individual (hunger, emotion, thirst, reproduction, sex). It also controls the operations of the autonomic nervous system.

        If this part of the brain were injured, a person would not survive because they wouldn't be able to carry out necessary life functions as eating and drinking, also they would probably freeze, since the body wouldn't be able to regulate temperature.

3. Amygdala-

        It functions as an evaluator of sensory information, quickly determining its emotional importance and contributing to the initial decision to approach or withdraw from a person or situation.

        If the amygdala were injured a person wouldn't be able to assess situations, situations that might be dangerous or even peaceful.

4.         Hippocampus- Gateway to memory.

        It compares sensory information with what the brain has learned to expect about the world. It enables us to form new memories about facts and events. It functions as a bridge to where the information actually gets stored, the cortex.

        If this part of the brain were injured a person wouldn't have any stored memories because there would be no way for the information to get to the cerebral cortex.

5. Corpus callosum- A large...