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What do we understand by brain?

What do we understand by brain?

April 28, 2024

The thinking organ. Our brain is one of the most important areas of the body , since it regulates the different vital functions that allow our survival. Also, it allows us to be who we are.

Reason, emotion, motivation ... all this has its origin in the nervous system and especially in the brain. But this body is not something homogeneous, but is structured in different areas. That is why in this article we are going to mention the different structures of the brain .

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What do we understand by brain?

We call brain to the functional center of the nervous system , located at the upper end of the neural tube. Located inside the skull and protected by this and the meninges against damage and external aggressions, it is the most important organ to be the one that regulates and controls all the functions of the organism, allowing the life and survival of the human being. In addition, thanks to him we are able to think, reflect, have feelings and emotions, identify with something or someone and, in general and even have awareness of ourselves.

It is considered that the brain itself is mainly configured by the cortex and subcortex, not entering inside the brainstem or the cerebellum. Nonetheless, Brain and brain are often used as synonyms and generally when we talk about the brain we will be referring to the entire brain.

Main brain structures

The brain is made up of a large number of structures, the brain can be divided into different parts . During our development we can find three main areas of the encephalon, the posterior brain or rhombencephalon, the middle brain or mesencephalon and the anterior or forebrain brain (which is later divided into diencephalon and telencephalon), each one counting with different structures of the brain.

1. Rombencephalon

Located in the lower part of the brain, the rhombencephalon is the part of the brain in which the most primitive structures are located of this one It is the part of the brain that contacts the spinal cord and regulates the most basic vital functions.

In this division of the brain we can observe two subdivisions, situating in each of them different structures of the brain. Next to the mesencephalon, It is part of the also known as brainstem or brainstem.

Spinal bulb

It is one of the brain structures that are part of the rombencephalon, derived from the myelencephalon. The medulla oblongata is the point of connection between the spinal cord and the brain , being a part of the brain essential for survival as it is responsible for the management of processes such as heart rate, motor skills and digestion.

Protuberance or Varolium bridge

The bulge is another of the brain structures most vital to mere survival, being able to provoke his injury the death . It is responsible for the movement of the viscera, homeostatic processes such as the maintenance of temperature and participates in the regulation of consciousness and respiration.


This part of the brain is known for its involvement in a large number of processes and functions of the organism. Recognized especially for his role in the control of muscular movement , also participates in aspects such as emotional regulation or cognitive processes such as memory and intelligence.

  • Related article: "Human cerebellum: its parts and functions"

2. Mesencephalon

The mesencephalon or middle brain is the part of the brain between the forebrain and the hindbrain. It unites both regions and allows communication between them, also having great importance for the control of vital processes. Like the rhombencephalon, it is part of the brainstem or brainstem. Contributes to integrate information in different ways and it is linked to the level of consciousness. In this region we can find fundamentally two structures of the brain.


Located in the dorsal part of the mesencephalon , this structure is linked to the reaction to sound stimuli and the reflex control of eye movements.


Formed in turn by structures such as the substantia nigra, the red nucleus or the periaqueductal gray matter, this structure of the brain is involved in functions such as movement, pain management and the fight or flight reactions.

3. Forebrain

It is the most developed part of the brain that has more structures, taking charge of the higher mental functions . We can differentiate two large areas, diencephalon and telencephalon.

3.1. Diencephalon

Located in the depths of the brain, the diencephalon is an internal part of the forebrain that is mainly configured by two large structures of the brain, thalamus and hypothalamus .


This brain region is the main core of integration of sensitive information , allowing to maintain a coordinated perception regarding external stimulation before being able to send it to other cerebral areas in which the information is processed. In addition, it allows thanks to its connection with the limbic system that perception and emotion can be linked.


The hypothalamus is one of the structures of the brain linked to the regulation of different hormones that allow the management of the organism. Connected with the pituitary gland, it participates in a large number of coordinated processes together with the autonomic nervous system, such as wakefulness, sexual behavior, hunger and thirst or affectivity. It is fundamental in the control of body homeostasis.

  • Related article: "Types of hormones and their functions in the human body"

3.2. Telencephalon

If we consider brain as a part of the brain and not as a synonym of it, the brain would be the part of the brain equivalent to the telencephalon. Within it we can find different systems that in turn are made up of different structures.

Cerebral cortex

The most visible and recognizable part of the brain, the cerebral cortex is the area of ​​the brain in which the integration and processing of information is completed and thanks to which the most complex functions are carried out , allowing aspects such as reasoning, speech, executive functions or fine motor skills.

The bark It is divided into two cerebral hemispheres. In addition to this we can establish five differentiated lobes specialized in various functions, the frontal, occipital, temporal and parietal lobes, in addition to the insula.

Basal ganglia

A small group of brain structures that they are located below the crust , the basal ganglia are of great importance when controlling functions automatically. They relate to learning and the automation of tasks, as well as memory or movement. Putamen, pale globe and caudate nucleus are its main components.

Limbic system

The limbic system is a system of different structures of the brain which They are responsible for the management of emotions , learning and memory. Some of its main components are the amygdala, the hippocampus, the hypothalamus or the mammillary bodies.

What we know about the human brain | Edwin Weeber | TEDxTampaBay (April 2024).

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