Play doh brain!

The human brain is a very strangely structured piece of art. You have the diencephalon which sits on the brain stem and is enclosed by cerebral hemispheres and is made of the Thalamus, Hypothalamus, and Epithalamus. The epithalamus forms the root of the third ventricle. It also houses the pineal body. The thalamus is what I like to refer as the “sensory switchboard.” It surrounds the third ventricle and acts as a relay station for sensory impulses. It then transfers those impulses to the correct part of the cortex for localization and interpretation. Lastly in this part of the brain we have the hypothalamus. This part of your brain plays a HUGE role in the “fight or flight” experience. It is located under the thalamus and is important in controlling body temperature, water balance, and metabolism as well as playing a big role in the limbic system of emotions. Now, in the brain stem you have the midbrain, which acts as a reflex center for vision and hearing and has two bulging fiber tracts called the cerebral penduncles. Next, is the medulla oblongata which contains important control centers such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, swallowing, and vomiting. The medulla is the lowest part of the brain stem. Then of course there is the pons which is a bulging center part of the brain stem, is mostly composed of fiber tracts, and includes nuclei involved in the control of breathing. The reticular formation is next and it is involved in motor controls of visceral organs. the RAS plays a role in the awake and sleep cycle. You can thank it for your circadian rhythm later. Last in the brain stem is the cerebellum which is also know as the “mini brain.” It is composed of two hemispheres and provides involuntary coordination of body movements. Then you have the specialized areas of the brain like the somatic sensory area with receives impulses from sensory receptors, or the motor area that controls the impulses being sent to skeletal muscles, or even the Broca’s area which is involved in our ability to speak. All of the different parts of the brain must perform a different task to keep our body working the way we like it to. If something were to happen to the medulla for example, living would be nearly impossible. Each part of the brain plays a vital role in taking care of our body. We need each part of the brain to function so the body can keep doing all the things we like to do! So thank your Broca’s area the next time you’re feeling chatty, or even your hippocampus the next time you remember some funny memory!
For my sources I would like to cite my anatomy notes on the brain as well as my psychology notes on the brain!
Here is a picture of my play doh brain.
braaain

brain

brain 2

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