April 14, 2018

Understanding Brain Health and Function: The Cerebrum - The Largest Part of the Human Brain

The cerebrum is the largest portion of the brain, making up 85% of the brain’s weight, but what is its function?

The main function of the cerebrum is to direct thought and action through conscious or unconscious motor functions, but the cerebrum is like our body's health center. It's made up of four lobes (frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal), each with their own functions, purposes, and contributions to health.

The cerebrum is the uppermost part of the brain. Divided into two hemispheres (left and right), each is thought to control different types of intelligence, with creative and emotional tasks being completed by the right hemisphere and tasks related to logic and reason being completed by the left. This is an oversimplification since both creative and logical pursuits involve simultaneous function of both hemispheres of the brain. Interestingly though, the two hemispheres of the cerebrum do relate to movement, with voluntary movements on the left side of the body being controlled by the right hemisphere and movements on the right side of the body being controlled by the left hemisphere of the brain. The left and right hemispheres are separated by a deep groove known as the longitudinal fissure, yet remained linked by the corpus callosum–a "bridge" of neural fibers at the center of the brain, that allow the two hemispheres of the brain to effectively communicate with one another.

Beyond being divided into two hemispheres, the cerebrum is made up of four lobes–the occipital lobe, the temporal lobe, the frontal lobe, and the parietal lobe. Though each lobe is responsible for different health functions, they all work together in the cerebral cortex. The occipital lobe is the location of the primary visual cortex, situated at the back of the cerebrum, the occipital lobe is responsible for processing visual information. There are actually two temporal lobes, one in each hemisphere located next to the ears. The temporal lobes are largely focused on auditory processing, but are also involved in visual processing, vestibular processing, emotion, pronunciation, learning, and–because the hippocampus is located in the temporal lobe– vital health functions like sleep-wake cycles, hormone regulation, and memory.  The parietal lobe is located between the frontal lobe and occipital lobe, and it allows us to process feelings and sensations. It also enables us to perceive various stimuli, orientation, movement, and recognition. Finally, the frontal lobe is located at the front of your cerebrum and is like the CEO of our brain. It assimilates all of the sensory information from the various lobes of the cerebrum, and regulates many health functions, which allows to perform complex cognitive and motor tasks, voluntary movement, decision-making, and is responsible for your personality.

Your cerebrum works hand-in-hand with your cerebellum and the brainstem to make you the person that you are, and is at the center of your health. At Plasticity Brain Centers, our doctors have been educated by the prestigious Carrick Institute to understand that difficulties in brain function can result in difficulties in all aspects of life. We offer numerous non-invasive services that utilize the brain’s own plasticity to repair itself. If you or a loved one are afflicted with a neurodegenerative disorder, developmental disorder, movement disorder, or brain injury, or you’re just interested in optimizing your brain performance, contact Plasticity Brain Centers for a consultation today, and start getting back to your best.

Plasticity Centers ©