Michael Mullan presents a short introduction to the brain :
1. Three pounds of power
The human brain weighs 3 pounds, however it’s the body’s most potent organ. The brain closely resembles jelly to touch.
There are three main sections:
The Cerebrum: This occupies most of the skull and is responsible for memory, problem solving, feeling, thinking and movement.
The Cerebellum: Located at the rear of the skull and beneath the cerebrum, the cerebellum handles balance and your coordination.
The Brain Stem: Is also under the cerebrum but in front of the cerebellum. It is connected with the spinal cord and is in control of your automated functions including breathing, food digestion, blood pressure and heart rate.
2.The supply line
To feed your brain the body nourishes it with networks or rich blood vessels.
Every heartbeat sends arteries with approximately one quarter of your blood up to the brain. Here 20% of the fuel and oxygen carried in the blood
is consumed by billions of cells.
If you’re deep in thought, you could be using up to one half of the oxygen and fuel.
The vessel network consists of capillaries and veins as well as arteries.
3. The cortex: The thinking layer
The wrinkled outside layer of your brain is called the cortex and it serves some very special functions. By mapping the cortex, scientists have been able to link specific functions to certain areas of the cortex.
Interpreting sensations in the body, sounds, sights and smells.
Creating thought, solving problems and making plans.
Controlling voluntary movement.
4. Left brain and right brain
Most people are aware that the brain has left and right sides, however experts are still not exactly sure how the left and right brains differ in their functions, with these exceptions:
The left side handles movement on the opposite right side of the body
The right side conversely controls movement on the left of the body
Generally language is processed on the left
5. Neuron Forests
The true activity in your brain occurs within individual cells. The adult brain has 100 billion nerve cells, called neurons, which connect to 100 trillion other points. This incredibly dense network is called a “neuron forest”.
Thoughts, memories and feelings are a result of a signal that travels through the neuron forest.
Alzheimer’s disease is responsible for destroying neurons.