Medical Illustrations

Picture of Brain

Picture of Brain

The brain is the complex organ responsible for processing sensory information (sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell). The brain controls voluntary and involuntary movements. Signals from the brain tell muscles to contract. Input from the brain controls the function of other organs in the body. Different areas of the brain are responsible for specialized functions.

The brain is connected to the spinal cord, the part of the nervous system that relays messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord also transmits information back to the brain. The brain and spinal cord are connected via the brainstem, the area of the brain that controls heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and swallowing. The cerebellum at the back of the brain coordinates fine movements and helps maintain balance. The cerebrum, or cortex, is the site of higher brain functions like thought and action. The cerebrum is comprised of several different regions, or lobes.

The frontal lobe behind the forehead is responsible for personality, motor skills, and problem solving. The occipital lobe sits at the back of the brain. It is responsible for processing visual input. The function of the parietal lobe at the top and back of the brain is to process and integrate sensory information. The temporal lobes on the sides of the brain are involved in memory and processing language. The entire brain is surrounded by membranes called the meninges.

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Text Reference: "Anatomy of the Brain." American Association of Neurological Surgeons.