What is the Biggest Part of Your Brain?
This article will answer the question “What is the biggest part of your brain?” Along with it, it will also discuss the functions of the biggest brain part in detail. In the end, it will answer some frequently asked questions about the brain.
What is the Biggest Part of Your Brain?
The cerebrum is the biggest part of the brain. This is the front part of the brain is comprised of the grey matter- the cerebral cortex and white matter at the centre. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain, this part is responsible for the regulation of the temperature of the body as well as for coordinating movements of the body.
The cerebrum enables thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, speech, judgement, learning and regulating emotions. There are other functions of the brain, and these are related to vision, touch and hearing. The cerebrum is also known as the cerebral cortex.
The cerebral cortex is responsible for thinking and consciousness. Humans have a larger cerebral cortex compared to others. The cerebral cortex is the outer brake-like layer of the brain and allows individuals to use complex skills, live in social settings, use language as well as create tools (Gibson, 2002).
Corticalization is known as the folding of the cerebral cortex. Compared to other animals, humans have a wrinkled and folded cerebral cortex, this creates a greater size and surface area, which allows for enhanced learning, thinking and remembering.
The cerebrum has four hemispheres, each of these has four sections also known as lobes, each of these lobes control different specific functions.
The four lobes are known as the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe and occipital lobe (Casillo et al., 2020).
The frontal lobe is responsible for memory, thinking, judgement, and planning, this starts from the front of the brain and moves over the top in the cortex.
The frontal lobe is involved in the movement, decision making and personality characteristics. Broca’s area is located in the frontal lobe and is associated with speech ability. Part of the role of the frontal lobe is to partially recognize smells.
The parietal lobe follows the frontal lobe, this part of the brain extends from the midsection of the skull. This is primarily responsible for processing information about sensations such as touch. This is located in the Wernicke’s area, which helps the brain understand spoken language. The parietal lobe helps in interpreting touch and processing pain in the body.
At the back of the skull comes the occipital lobe, which is responsible for processing visual information. The temporal lobe is located right in front of the occipital lobe, this section of the brain is responsible for language and hearing.
Understanding functions of the Cortex
In a study done by Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig, they found that by applying electric stimulation to several parts of a dog’s cortex, several parts of the dog’s body could be set into motion.
A significant discovery was made regarding the principle of the brain’s activity. In this study, it was discovered that stimulating the right side could produce movement in the other side, the left side of the brain, and the same could be seen by applying the principle on the other side, the right side of the brain.
This principle is called contralateral control, which tells us that the brain is wired in a way that the left hemisphere of the brain receives signals from the right side and controls the body. The same principle is applied to the other hemisphere of the brain.
The motor cortex was discovered by Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig (2009). This part of the brain controls and executes the movement of the body. This is possible by signalling the spinal cord to the cerebellum.
Providing mild electric stimulation to several areas of the motor cortex, researchers have been able to map several areas of the motor cortex, by observing the body movements of fully conscious patients. They have found these patients feel no pain as there are no sensory receptors in the brain.
The somatosensory cortex is the area that is located behind the motor cortex. Just like the motor cortex, the somatosensory cortex of the brain sends several signals to specific areas of the body. The motor cortex and the sensory cortex, relatively occupy a small area of the brain.
The somatosensory cortex is that area of the brain that receives information from different parts of the sensory receptors of the skin and controls movements of several parts of the body, this is located parallel to the motor cortex, behind the frontal lobe.
If the body region is more sensitive, the more space it occupies for its function in the sensory cortex. Areas such as our fingers, genitals and lips occupy a significant amount of area in the sensory cortex.
Several other areas of the cortex process different other types of sensory information. For example, the visual information is stored in the visual cortex, which is located in the occipital lobe. This area is located at the back of the brain. If this area of the brain is stimulated, one can see several colours as well as flashes of light.
The temporal lobe allows us to name several objects around us and also allows us to process some amount of visual information (Martin, 2007). This is located at the lower end of the hemisphere, this is responsible for processing language and hearing and contains the auditory cortex.
The other parts of the cortex form associations in other areas of the brain and are involved in several other complex functions of the brain that involve planning, learning, judging, thinking, figuring and spatial reasoning.
The rest of the cortex is responsible for forming associations in the brain that combine both motor and sensory information and are stored in the brain. These are associated information that is responsible for many of the things that distinguish us as humans.
What are the other two parts of the brain?
Essentially, the brain can be categorised into The Brainstem, Cerebellum, and Cerebrum. Since we discussed the functions of the cerebrum above, let’s look at the Brainstem and Cerebellum in detail.
The Brain Stem
The innermost region of the brain is called the brain stem. This is also the oldest part of the brain. The medulla, the area of the brainstem that controls breathing and heart rate
The role of the brain stem is to control basic functions like a motor response, breathing and basic attention. It begins where the spinal cord enters the skull and forms the medulla.
The medulla is the area of the brainstem that controls breathing and heart rate. Many times the medulla is enough to sustain life. In animals that have parts of the brain severed they are still able to move, eat and breathe.
The structure of the brainstem that helps control several movements such as balance and walking is a spherical shape right above the medulla and is called the pons.
The cerebellum is also known as the little brain and consists of two wrinkled ovals which are located behind the brain stem. The function of the cerebellum is to coordinate movement which is voluntary. Damage to this region leads to dis-regulation in walking, balance and holding hands steadily.
This article answers the question “What is the biggest part of your brain?” Along with it, it will discuss the functions of the biggest brain part in detail. In the end, it will answer some frequently asked questions about the brain.
Frequently Asked Questions: What is the Biggest Part of Your Brain?
Does the brain sleep?
Sleep is one of the most crucial aspects of brain functioning. Sleep also plays an important role in how neurons communicate with one another. Findings suggest that sleep also plays an important role in taking out the toxins in your brain and renovating thought processes when one is awake.
What is a brain scientist called?
Neuroscientists are brain scientists that study and understand the functions of the brain.
What part of the brain controls behaviour and personality?
Prefrontal Cortex – The term prefrontal cortex refers to the very front part of the brain located behind the forehead and above the eyes. It appears to play a critical role in the regulation of emotion and behaviour by anticipating the consequences of our actions and inhibiting behaviours.
How does the brain make decisions?
It is well known that the decision-making process results from communication between the prefrontal cortex (working memory) and hippocampus (long-term memory). However, there are other regions of the brain that play essential roles in making decisions, but their exact mechanisms of action still are unknown.
Casillo, S. M., Luy, D. D., & Goldschmidt, E. (2020). A History of the Lobes of the Brain. World Neurosurgery, 134, 353-360.
Hagner M. The electrical excitability of the brain: toward the emergence of an experiment. J Hist Neurosci. 2012 Jul;21(3):237-49. doi: 10.1080/0964704X.2011.595634. PMID: 22724486.