Learn a bit more about the BRAIN
How do you remember the way to your friend’s house? Why do your eyes blink without you ever thinking about it? Where do dreams come from? Your brain is in charge of these things and a lot more.
In fact, your brain is the boss of your body. It runs the show and controls just about everything you do, even when you’re asleep. Not bad for something that looks like a big, wrinkly, gray sponge.
Your brain has many different parts that work together. We’re going to talk about these five parts, which are key players on the brain team:
- cerebrum (say: suh-ree-brum)
- cerebellum (say: sair-uh-bell-um)
- brain stem
- pituitary gland (say: puh-too-uh-ter-ee gland)
- hypothalamus (say: hy-po-thal-uh-mus)
The Biggest Part: the Cerebrum
The biggest part of the brain is the cerebrum. The cerebrum makes up 85% of the brain’s weight, and it’s easy to see why. The cerebrum is the thinking part of the brain and it controls your voluntary muscles — the ones that move when you want them to. So you can’t dance — or kick a soccer ball — without your cerebrum.
When you’re thinking hard, you’re using your cerebrum. You need it to solve math problems, figure out a video game, and draw a picture. Your memory lives in the cerebrum — both short-term memory (what you ate for dinner last night) and long-term memory (the name of that roller-coaster you rode on two summers ago). The cerebrum also helps you reason, like when you figure out that you’d better do your homework now because your mom is taking you to a movie later.
The cerebrum has two halves, with one on either side of the head. Some scientists think that the right half helps you think about abstract things like music, colors, and shapes. The left half is said to be more analytical, helping you with math, logic, and speech. Scientists do know for sure that the right half of the cerebrum controls the left side of your body, and the left half controls the right side.