Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Before we jump into the fun stuff, let's examine where we'll be working.

The Brain
Luckily for me, The Brain can cover basic brain-geography for me and I can skip right ahead while you people watch the video they show in every. psychology. class. ever.

Of course, as anyone who has ever looked at a brain can tell you, our squishy bits don't actually look like that.

Can YOU tell the difference between the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes? Neither could I, not when I got my hands on a real brain, not right away anyway. The whole cerebrum looked like one big squishy smelly mass. In contrast to my usual method of learning, it turns out studying brain scans can be much more effective than another other method. So that's one brain wasted, my fault.

Anyway, here's some scans I have on hand so you don't have to make the same mistake:

a. Left hemisphere
b. Right hemisphere
c. Cerebellum: Motor control.
e. Brain stem
f. Cerebrospinal fluid: Brain cushioning liquid buffer, protects against injury and infection.

a. Thalamus: Sensory relay and the regulation of consciousness.
b. Hypothalamus: Joins the nervous system to the endocrine system
c. Midbrain Looks kinda like a hook. Vision, hearing, motor control, alertness and temperature regulation.
d. Pons: Sensory relay. Note how it swells forward a bit.
e. Medulla Oblongata: Involuntary actions like breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.
f. Brain stem
g. Pituitary gland: Regualtes homeostasis.

a + b. Lower parts of the frontal lobes.
c. The eye, specifically the vitreous humour.
d. Lens.
e. Sinus cavity.
f. Lower parts of temporal and occipital lobes connected via the corpus collosum.

Special bonus TED Talk- Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight


  1. I love the realization, that the brain named itself.