CogniFit's Science blog: The Many Functions Of The Human Brain

The Many Functions Of The Human Brain

In the past years, the number of articles around the brain is soaring. People are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of having and maintaining a healthy brain. Still, we  don't often take a step back to simply describe what are the basic functions of our brain. Let's try to do it here.

The brain controls all the functions of the body. Some people actually refer to it as the muscle of thinking, since it tells your muscles what to do. It is the most important part of your body, because it controls all of your body functions and organs.

The human brain is the center of the nervous system. The brain controls the central nervous system with the cranial nerves and the spinal cord. The human brain is protected by the skull. Brains are very soft and jelly-like, and are deep red in color. Your brain weighs approximately 3 pounds. The brain doesn't feel pain because there are no pain receptors in the brain.

Your brain controls involuntary actions such as heartbeat, digestion, and respiration. You consciously control your “higher” mental activity such as reason, thought, and abstraction.

For every new thought you have, or when using your memory, there is a new brain connection made between two or more brain cells. The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body, while the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body. This part of your brain controls speech and emotions such as reading, learning, and thinking.

If you lose oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes, you can have serious brain damage. The brain uses 20% of the body’s oxygen supply.

The brain and spinal cord form the central nervous system. This is a complex system that controls everything we choose to do, like walk and talk and the things we do automatically, like breath and our digestive system. Of course all of our senses are controlled by this system; hearing, taste, sight, touch, and smell. It also controls our memory and emotions.

The largest part of your brain is the cerebrum. This fills most of the upper skull. The cerebrum takes information from the senses and lets us know what is going on around us and tells our body how to respond. Your cerebellum controls balance and more complex actions such as talking and walking.

The spinal cord is connected to the brain stem. This controls hunger, thirst, and basic body functions such as blood pressure, and breathing.

Connected to the brain are spinal nerves. Spinal nerves connect the brains to almost all parts of your body. Other nerves go from the brain to your ears, eyes, and other parts of your head. Through these nerves is how the rest of the body connects and carries messages back and forth to the brain.

The brain is obviously much more complex that the above definitions but this gives you a good starting point to understand some of the most important part of your brain and the future articles you will read on brain research. Now, it's your turn to keep it healthy!