What is the Cerebrum?
you tell the difference between a quarter and a dime when you reach
into your front pocket in search of correct change? The answer to this
question is found in your cerebrum. Your cerebrum is the main
part of the brain in humans and other vertebrates. Functionally, it
obtains information from your surroundings and/or body and then sends
that information to a specific part of the cerebrum. The cerebrum
interprets the knowledge and decides what must happen next. In short,
your cerebrum, although approximately the size of a cantaloupe, holds
the instructions for everything you do in your daily life.
The cerebrum is located in the upper part of the cranial cavity,
which is a space inside the top of the skull. It is divided into a
right hemisphere and a left hemisphere by a deep groove known as the longitudinal fissure.
The right half of the cerebrum controls the left side of the body. The
left half of the cerebrum controls the right side of the body. The two
halves are linked by the corpus callosum, a bundle of neural
fibers. The corpus callosum passes messages between the two halves so
that they can communicate with one another.
Cerebral hemispheres separated by the longitudinal fissure.
Lobes and Functions
The cerebrum is divided into four regions called lobes
that control senses, thoughts, and movements. The four lobes are the
occipital, temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes. Although each lobe has
a different task to perform, they all must work together.
The occipital lobe, found in the back of your cerebrum, plays a role in processing visual information. It can be related to oculus, the Latin word for eye.
There are two temporal lobes,
one in each hemisphere - close to where your ears are. It primarily
functions in auditory processing. However, it may also be involved in
emotion, learning, and pronunciation/learning a new language. If you
hear a loud tempo or beat, you may cover your ears, thus blocking the
sounds from getting to your temporal lobe.
The frontal lobe
allows you to solve a complex task, undergo voluntary movement of your
body parts, form complete sentences, and is responsible for your
personality traits. Think about the last time you had a difficult exam,
what was your first reaction? You probably put your elbow on the table
and your hand on your forehead, precisely where your frontal lobe is
The parietal lobe functions in general sensation
and feeling. If you stand too close to a campfire, you probably take a
few steps backwards to avoid the excessive heat. Building a snowman
without gloves may also bring you discomfort, but your parietal lobe
helps to communicate this information with the rest of your brain.
Although all sensations are not bad, it is important to point out how
they help us avoid potentially harmful situations. The parietal lobe is
found in between the frontal and occipital lobe.
Parts Within the Lobes
the cerebrum we find elevated regions called gyri (gyrus for singular).
They help to separate the lobes based on its functional roles and
increase the overall size of the cerebrum. The specific gyrus used for
motor functions in the frontal lobe is called the pre-central gyrus; whereas the gyrus used for sensory function in the parietal lobe is called the post-central gyrus.
An example of a motor function may include reaching into your pocket
for correct change. A sensory function would be the feeling you get when
touching the two coins. Finally, the central sulcus is a deepened groove used to separate the frontal lobe from the parietal lobe.
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