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  • Writer's pictureProject STEMinist

The Brain

Let’s learn about some of the parts of the brain and fun ways to remember them!

  • Cerebral Cortex - upper portion of the cerebrum; Involved with a variety of things, but mostly complex thinking; makes up 80% of the brain;

  • 4 lobes (from front to back to side: frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, temporal lobe)

  • Frontal lobe - voluntary motor functions; motivation, foresight, planning, memory, mood, emotion, social judgment, and aggression

  • Parietal lobe - receives and integrates general sensory information, taste, and some visual processing

  • Occipital lobe - primary visual center of the brain

  • Temporal lobe - areas for language, hearing, smell, and memory

  • “E = mc^2” - complex cortex

  • Corpus Callosum - connects the two halves of the brain

  • “CorPLUS CalloSUM” - fibers that add together the two parts of the brain

  • Thalamus - “gateway to the cerebral cortex”; tells ell signals where to go to be processed in the brain; sits right on top of the brain stem

  • Similar to a “router” because it sorts data and sends it where it needs to go

  • Imaging “Hal & Amos,” two traffic cops in the brain that tell cars (signals/sensations) where to go in the brain

  • Hypothalamus - Thermometer of the body (regulates body temperature, maintaining osmolarity, circadian rhythm, lets body know about hunger and thirst, and is responsible for major drives like the sex drive); functions in homeostasis; below the thalamus (right above the roof of the mouth).

  • “Hypo The Llamas” - imagine 2 hot and thirsty llamas on a plate and the hypo sprays water on the llamas to cool them down and decrease their thirst ■ Hypo-syringe or hypo was a medical instrument used to inject fluids into the body

  • Hippocampus - primarily involved in memory

  • “Hippo compass” - a compass is used when you’re lost and you can’t remember where home is, so a lost hippo would use a compass to remember how to get back home.

  • Amygdala - primarily regulates the sense of fear

  • “Mig” - imagine a MiG (Russian fighter aircraft/plane) flying towards you, that would scare you

  • Pons - regulates relaxation and sleep

  • “Ponds” - imagine that you are lying next to a pond, relaxing

  • Cerebellum - involved in balance and motor control (motor control, motor memory, coordination); back of the brain/head

  • “Bell” - imagine someone having a bell on their head trying to balance the bell on their head.

  • Reticular Formation - involved in being alert and in arousal

  • “Tickle” - if someone tickles a man who is lying down using a feather, the man’s reticular formation would wake him up

  • Medulla - regulates the heart and lungs

  • “Medal” - imagine Michael Phelps with many medals around the neck that lie right over the heart and lungs

  • Brainstem - consists of 3 things (from bottom to top: medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain); functions in digestion, circulation, breathing, routing and filtering sensory & motor nerve information

  • “Stem” - imagine a stem/tree with the heart/roots (medulla), water on the branches in the middle of the tree (from the pond/pons), and the middle of the top of the tree which looks like a head (midbrain).

  • Posterior Pituitary Gland - a little gland hanging out of the hypothalamus; sends off hormones (ADH, oxytocin).

  • “Post” - imagine a social media post getting comments and likes based on the content (sends out hormones/messages in response to another message/post).

  • Cerebrum - upper portion of the brain; functions in integration (making sense of information coming into the brain); composed of many neurons

  • “Drum” - drums have a complex structure and require a lot of coordination and skill; structure of drums creates sound when hit (integration).

  • Basal ganglia - right below the corpus callosum; made up of a bunch of nuclei (a bunch of neurons that are right next to each other and have the same function); complex interaction of inhibition and excitatory response between these neurons controls motor control

  • “Tangle” - tangle of nerves that interact with each other

  • Somatosensory cortex - in the parietal zone; where sensory information is coming into the brain

  • “Sensitive Tex” - imagine a Texan who is sensitive and takes everything seriously (functions with sensory information).

  • Motor cortex - on the other side of the parietal zone; point of integration where a message is sent back out

  • “Motor Tex” - imagine a car in Texas that responds to the conditions outside (car changes speed/direction in response to conditions; functions with motor information).

BY: Richa Kuklani

Sources: ●

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