There are so many parts of the brain. Some of them you may know (like the frontal lobe) but others you may not be so familiar with. You may know if you have read my about page (if not, check it out here) that I love neuroscience.
So, I wanted to share some of that knowledge with you that I have gained over the years. Since I love the brain, I thought that discussing all of its parts would be a good place to start! This is only part one though so let’s start with some basics and the further we go into the Do you know your brain series, the more detailed we shall get.
The brain is comprised of 3 different regions or sections of the brain. They are the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. Their locations are self-explanatory.
Let’s start with the forebrain located in the “front” and “top”. From my experience, it seems that most people tend to know more about the forebrain than any other section or part of the brain. They may not even realize it, but this section of the brain seems to be what is talked about the most. Fun fact, did you know its the biggest part of your brain?
The parts of the forebrain include:
- Basal ganglia
- Cerebral cortex
- Pituitary gland
- Olfactory bulb
Some of these terms you may be aware of. If not that’s okay too. Not everyone loves the brain. I will only talk about the most interesting ones in my opinion.
The most interesting parts to me are the thalamus, hypothalamus, hippocampus, and the cerebral cortex.
The cerebral cortex is the outer part of the brain, well technically its the outer part of the cerebrum. It is largely responsible for consciousness, so think of things like your thoughts, perception, language, memory, and more.
Next is the limbic system which deals with memory and emotion. Structures under the limbic system include the amygdala, the hippocampus, thalamus, and hypothalamus (all the things I find interesting).
The midbrain is the smallest of the three sections but don’t mistake this for being the least significant. In fact, all parts of the brain no matter the size are extremely significant and each hold their own weight.
The parts of the midbrain include:
- Reticular formation
- Brain stem
- Crura cerebi
- Substantia Nigra
- Periaqaeductal Gray
What you will notice is that the midbrain and hindbrain both share the brain stem. I find I have a particular interest in the reticular formation (a collection of various neurons) and the brain stem. The brain stem is connected to the spinal cord so I’m sure you can imagine how important that is!
The hindbrain is the lowest, most furthest back part of the brain. It holds very important parts that involve pretty basic human functions.
The parts of the hindbrain include:
- brain stem
- cranial nerves
Out of all these parts I would say I find interest in the pons the most. This part has to deal with your sleep and wake “cycles” if you will. I find this interesting because it can be connected to looking at conscious and subconscious levels.
Books That Helped Me Learn About The Brain
I love talking about the bits and pieces of the brain. I also love talking about neurons. Going to school has helped a lot, and I know people complain about textbooks but some of those textbooks really helped me out. For example there are two textbooks that I reference whenever I talk about the brain so they have been useful to me for more than just one course (thank goodness).
One textbook was for my first psychology course in college and one was from my last year in college. They are called Experience Psychology and Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience. I loved that they were simple to read even though they held so much information.
Some textbooks I have read take a lot of concentration and studying to comprehend. But with these two I was able to understand the material right away and they are still helpful to this day.
Part of this might have been because I had amazing professors but I would still recommend these books to anyone who feels interested in psychology or neuroscience.
Let’s Talk About It!
So there you have it. A start into what your brain is like. I discussed three different sections and the parts within those sections. Hopefully, you learned something interesting! But, there is so much more! (hence the part 1). Let me know which section of the brain interested you the most.
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