THE ANATOMY OF THE BRAIN
To understand injuries to the brain, it is beneficial to first have a general knowledge of the anatomy of the brain itself. Picture the brain as an ice cream cone. The cone is the brain stem and the brain is the scoop of ice cream on top. The brain rocks back and forth on the stem in a body of liquid known as cerebral spinal fluid.
The brain is divided into two halves or hemispheres. Usually the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. The right side of the brain judges the position of things in space, tracks the body's positioning, provides the understanding and remembering of things we do and see, assembles bits of information together to make an entire picture, and controls the left side of the body.
The left side of the brain provides the understanding and use of language including listening, reading, speaking, and writing, creates memory for spoken and written messages, provides detailed analysis of information, and controls the right of the body.
The front of the brain consists of the
and is located in the forehead region in both the left and right hemispheres. The Frontal lobes are considered our emotional control center and home to our personality. The Frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgment, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. MRI studies have shown that the frontal area is the most common region of injury following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury.
are at the top, back portion of our brain in both hemispheres. The Parietal lobes can be divided into two functional regions. One region involves sensation and perception and the other is concerned with integrating sensory input, primarily with the visual system. The first function integrates sensory information to form a single perception (i.e. cognition). The second function constructs the special coordinates system to represent the world around us. The functions of the Parietal region include location for visual attention, location for touch perception, goal-directed voluntary movements, manipulation of objects, and integration of different senses that allows for understanding a single concept.
is on the sides of the head above the ear. The temporal lobe provides hearing ability, memory acquisition, some visual perceptions, and categorization of objects.
is located at the back of the brain, in the lower section below the Parietal regional. The Occipital lobes are the center of our visual perception system. The main function of the Occipital lobes is vision.
is located on the side of the brain below the Occipital and Temporal regions of the hemispheres just above the brain stem and toward the back of the brain. The function of the Cerebellum is to provide coordination of voluntary movement, balance and equilibrium and some memory for reflex motor acts.
is the cone part of the brain that plays a vital role in basic attention, arousal and consciousness. All information to and from our body passes through the brain stem on the way to or from the brain. The brain stem provides functions of breathing, heart rate, swallowing, reflexes for seeing and hearing, sweating, blood pressure, digestion, body temperature, levels of alertness, ability to sleep and our sense of balance.
The Frontal and Temporal lobes and the Brain stem are most vulnerable to damage during trauma as they are located in an area near boney protrusions within the skull which surrounds the brain and brain stem.
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