BrainBrain Anatomy

The brain and the spinal cord form the central nervous system. Weighing approximately 1-1.5 kg, the brain acts like a computer system regulating many of our bodily processes, including basic functioning, such as respiration, temperature, appetite, movement and cognitive processes like thoughts, memory and emotion.

Protected within the skull, the brain is a symmetrically shaped structure which is divided into 2 hemispheres: the right and a left hemisphere. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body; the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.

The cerebral cortex makes up the surface of the brain; it is highly folded giving it a very large surface area. The cerebral cortex is divided into 4 sections: the occipital, parietal, temporal and frontal lobe. Although each lobe is specialised to control particular functions, all work together to control the body.

Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex

Above: A diagram showing the four lobes of the cerebral cortex

The Frontal Lobe

The frontal lobe contains four main areas:

Parietal Lobe

This has 3 main functions:

Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe contains four key regions:

The Occipital Lobe

This is mainly concerned with vision. The primary visual cortex contains a map of the visual field that receives information from the eyes and relays it to the visual association cortex. The visual association cortex contains around 30 further maps involved in processing information about form, depth, movement and colour.