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Human Brain

Human Brain

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Published by: EDUMATERIALS on Oct 08, 2010
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INTRODUCTIONThe human body is divided into many different parts called organs. All of the parts are controlled byan organ called the brain, which is located in the head. The brain weighs about 2. 75 pounds, and hasa whitish-pink appearance. The brain is made up of many cells, and is the control centre of the body.The brain flashes messages out to all the other parts of the body.The messages travel in very fine threads called nerves. The nerves and the brain make up a systemsomewhat like telephone poles carrying wires across the city. This is called the nervous system. Thenerves in the body don't just send messages from the brain to the organs, but also send messagesfrom the eyes, ears, skin and other organs back to your brain. Some nerves are linked directly tothebrain. Others have to reach the brain through a sort of power line down the back, called the spinalcord.The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system. The brain doesn't just control yourorgans, but also can think and remember. That part of the brain is called the mind.PROTECTING THE BRAINTwenty-eight bones make up the skull. Eight of these bones are interlocking plates. These platesform the cranium.The cranium provides maximum protection with minimum weight, the ideal combination. The othertwenty bones make up the face, jaw and other parts of the skull. Another way the brain keeps it self safe is by keeping itself in liquid. Nearly one fifth of the blood pumped by the heart is sent to thebrain. The brain then sends the blood through an intricate network of blood vessels to where theblood is needed. Specialized blood vessels called choroid plexuses produce a protectivecerebrospinal fluid.This fluid is what the brain literally floats in. A third protective measure taken by the brain is calledthe blood brain barrier. This barrier consists of a network of unique capillaries. These capillaries arefilters for harmful chemicals carried by the blood, but do allow oxygen, water and glucose to enterthe brain.THE DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THE BRAINThe brain is divided into three main sections.The area at the front of the brain is the largest. Most of it is known as the cerebrum. It controls all of the movements that you have to think about, thought and memory. The cerebrum is split in twodifferent sections, the right half and the left half.The outer layer of the cerebrum is called the cortex. It is mainly made up of cell bodies of neuronscalled grey matter. Most of the work the brain does is done in the cortex. It is very wrinkled and hasmany folds. The wrinkles and folds give the cortex a large surface area, even though it is squeezedup to fit in the skull. The extra surface area gives the cerebrum more area to work.
Inside the cortex, the cerebrum is largely made up of white matter. White matter is tissue made onlyof nerve fibres. The middle region is deep inside the brain. It's chief purpose is to connect the frontand the back of the brain together. It acts as a "switchboard", keeping the parts of your brain intouch with each other. The back area of the brain is divided into three different parts.The pons is a band of nerve fibres which link the back of the brain to the middle. The cerebellumsees to it that all the parts of your body work as a team. It also makes sure you keep your balance.The medulla is low down at the back of your head. It links the brain to the top of the spinal cord.The medulla controls the way your heart pumps blood through your body. It also looks after yourbreathing and helps you digest food.THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE BRAINTHE BRAINSTEM:The brainstem is one of the oldest parts of the brain. It controls such functions as breathing, bloodpressure, swallowing and heart rate.THE HYPOTHALMUS: This part of the brain is located directly above the brain stem.The hypothalmus controls basic drives like hunger and sex and as well as our response to threat anddanger. The hypothalmus also controls the pituitary.THE PITUITARY: The pituitary produces hormones such as testosterone that circulate through outthe body. THE THALAMUS:The thalamus is like a relay area; it receives messages from lower brainareas such as the brainstem and hypothalmus and sends them to the two brain hemispheres. Thethalamus is located in between above the lower brain and under the two hemispheres.THE DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THE BRAIN: Most of the above mentioned parts of the brain wereproduced early in evolution but the higher mammals especially humans went on to produce a sort of "thinking cap" on top of these parts. This "thinking cap" was divided into two different parts, the lefthemisphere and the right hemisphere. If the left side of your brain is more developed like mostpeople's are, you are right handed. On the other hand if the right side of your brain is moredeveloped, then you will be left handed. The right side of your brain is more artistic and emotionalwhile the left side of your brain is your "common sense" and practical side, such as figuring out mathand logic problems. THE CEREBELLUM:One of the most important part of the Human brain is thecerebellum.The cerebellum is involved with the more complex functions of the brain and sometimes is evenreferred to as "the brain within the brain". The cerebellum acts as a control and coordination centrefor movement. The cerebellum carries small "programs" that have been previously learned. Forexample, how to write, move, run and jump are all previously learned activities that the brainrecorded and can playback when needed.Every time you practice, the brain rewrites the program and makes it better. You may have heardthe saying "practice makes perfect". Well this saying is not entirely true; another way of "practising"is just to imagine what you wish to do. Since the cerebellum can't actually feel, it will think that youare doing what your imagining and respond by rewriting it's previous program and carrying out any
other actions needed for that function. This is one why to explain wet dreams.THE CEREBRAL CORTEX: The cerebral cortex makes up the top of the two hemispheres of the brain.The cortex is a sheet of greyish matter which produces our thoughts, language and plans. It alsocontrols our sensations and voluntary movements, stores our memories and gives us the ability toimagine, in short it's what makes humans, humans.IN THE FUTUREToday many experiments are being conducted that may be break through's for the future. Forinstance "brain grafting" is one procedure that may be used in the future. Brain grafting is totransplant a very thin layer of brain skin from one person to another. This would result in control of parkinson's disease and other seizure related diseases.Another radical idea that has already been successfully been tried on rhesus monkey's is, braintransplants. The ethics and legal problems for such a transplant would probably never let thisoperation be performed on humans. This is because the person would not be the same, would nothave the same memories or the same abilities that the host body had had. The last idea of the futurethat we will list is called "artificial hearing and seeing". Artificial seeing is achieved by planting sixty-four small electrodes in front of the visual cortex of the brain. The electrodes are connected to asmall camera that is some where on the person's ear.A computer is attached to the camera. The computer sends the images from the camera directly tothe implanted electrodes. They flash as the picture from the camera, thus enabling the person tosomewhat see. Artificial hearing is much more complicated then artificial seeing.First a electrodes must be planted in the brain. Then through a microphone a computer produceselectrical pulses that are then sent to the electrodes in the brain. But as of yet these procedures arenot practical first because of the size of the computer, it cannot be taken out of the laboratorysecond the cost of the package and third the risks involved.CONCLUSIONAfter all of the work and research that we have done it is very evident to us that the brain is one of the most wondrous organs that humans could have. It guides us through almost every second of ourlife. Even after exploring vast and distant sky's to the microorganisms that exist today, the brain hasnever ceased to amaze us and probably never will.BIBLIOGRAPHYLambert, Mark. The Brain and Nervous System Macmillan Education, 1988Steve Franklin Watts, The Brain and Nervous System by Parker, 1990Encyclopedia Britannica by Britannica, Encyclopedia Inc. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 1986

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