Parts of the Brain


Understanding the Parts of the Brain


The brain is the control center for the body. It manages many functions such as breathing, moving and seeing. It also controls thinking, emotions and behavior. An injury to the brain can affect almost any function of the body and can sometimes even affect personality.

Each area of the brain manages different functions (see illustration), but sometimes there is overlap so that more than one location controls a function.

What are the parts of the brain, and what does each one do?

Brain LobesThe brain is divided into four separate parts (lobes), and two different sides (hemispheres), each controls a different area of function. For example:

  • The left side (hemisphere) of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa, in most cases. So, for example, an injury on the left side of the brain can cause impairment on the right side of the body.
  • The left hemisphere also generally controls the ability to use language. Damage to this area can make it difficult to understand language or speak.
  • The right hemisphere of the brain controls spatial skills and judgment. Spatial skills refer to the ability to understand, reason and remember where something is located in space, and how that location compares with another object’s location. For example, understanding how far a chair is in front of a table.
  • The front of the brain (frontal lobe) controls motivation, emotion, personality and the ability to solve problems.
  • The brain stem, located at the back of the brain, controls basic functions of the body — breathing, blood pressure, body temperature and swallowing.
  • The back of the brain (occipital lobe) controls vision.
  • The top of the brain (parietal lobe) controls sense of touch and identifies sizes, shapes and colors.
  • The sides of the brain (temporal lobes) control memory, hearing and the ability to understand language.
  • The boney skull covers the brain and helps protect it from injury.
  • Ventricles are hollow spaces within the brain that are filled with fluid (cerebrospinal fluid).Brain function

For more information on the brain and brain injury.

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