The central nervous system (CNS) is
the brain and spinal cord. The brain is an important organ. It controls thought, memory,
emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger, and every process
that regulates our body.
The brain can be divided into 3
Cerebrum. The cerebrum is the
front part of the brain. It has a right and left hemisphere. Functions of the
cerebrum include initiation of movement, coordination of movement, temperature,
touch, vision, hearing, speech and language, judgment, reasoning, problem solving,
emotions, and learning.
Brainstem. The brainstem is the
middle of the brain. It includes the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla.
Functions of this part include movement of the eyes and mouth, relaying sensory
messages (such as, hot, pain, or loud), hunger, respirations, consciousness,
cardiac function, body temperature, involuntary muscle movements, sneezing,
coughing, vomiting, and swallowing.
Cerebellum. The cerebellum is the
back of the brain. It is located at the back of the head. Its function is to
coordinate voluntary muscle movements. It also maintains posture, balance, and
Within these 3 main parts, there
are these other parts of the brain:
Pons. This is a deep part of the
brain located in the brainstem. It contains many of the control areas for eye and
Medulla. This is the lowest part
of the brainstem. It is the most vital part of the entire brain. It contains
important control centers for the heart and lungs. It also controls
Spinal cord. This is a large
bundle of nerve fibers in the back that extends from the base of the brain to the
lower back. It carries messages to and from the brain and the rest of the
Frontal lobe. This is the largest
section of the brain. It is located in the front of the head. The frontal lobe is
involved in judgment, decision-making, some language functions, personality
characteristics, and movement.
Parietal lobe. This is the middle
part of the brain. It helps a person to identify objects and understand spatial
relationships (where one's body is compared to objects around the person). It also
helps with vision, hearing, and memory. And it is involved in interpreting pain
and touch in the body.
Occipital lobe. This is the back
part of the brain. It is involved with vision.
Temporal lobes. These are the
sides of the brain. They are involved in memory, speech, language processing, and
sense of smell.
Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Pat F Bass MD MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed:
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